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Michigan announces grants to help farmers with specialty crops

Apple Freezeout-Indiana
Posted at 11:53 AM, Nov 09, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell on Tuesday to announce the recipients of grants that will help farmers with specialty crops.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program offers federal funding to state departments of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry, according to a news release.

“I appreciate the USDA’s commitment to investing in Michigan’s robust food and agriculture sector,” Whitmer said. “These grants are a win-win for our farmers, producers, distributors and consumers as we look to increase access to Pure Michigan food and agriculture.”

“The programs supported by these federal grants helps strengthen local and statewide distribution channels, giving Michigan’s specialty crop farmers access to more markets and supporting the governor’s New Michigan Economy plan,” McDowell said. “The grants focus on marketing, training, certifications, food safety, pest control and plant health for specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, plants and/or flowers. Additionally, this funding enhances the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crops.”

Grantees include:

AwardeeProject Title Location Awarded Amount 
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board Increasing the Productivity of Michigan Asparagus Through Sustainable Disease Management Tactics DeWitt  $86,950.00  
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board Taking Asparagus Disease Management into the Future with Real-Time, in-Field Sensor Data DeWitt  $99,800.00  
Michigan Bean Commission Enhanced Strategies to Communicate the Value of Michigan Dry Beans:  Conventional and Digital Educational Programs to Increase Bean Consumption for Today’s Health-Conscious Consumers. Frankenmuth  $124,400.00  
Michigan Bean Commission Identification of Improved Dry Bean Varieties, Maturities, and Integrated Weed Management Systems: Managing Production for an Evolving Market Place Frankenmuth  $100,000.00  
Michigan Blueberry Growers Association Researching Efficacy of Growing Blueberries in In-Ground Containers Through On-Farm Trials Grand Junction  $99,793.00  
Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program Advancing Weed Management in Michigan Carrots through Novel Cultural, Electrical, and Physical Approaches DeWitt  $98,525.00  
Michigan Carrot Industry Development Program Evaluating and Disseminating Soil Amendment Practices to Mitigate Heavy Metal Uptake by Carrot DeWitt  $100,000.00  
Michigan Cherry Committee Branding Montmorency Tart Cherries with a Geographical Indication: Legal and Consumer Research and Development DeWitt  $89,000.00  
Michigan Craft Beverage Council Specialty Crop Grower Directory for the Michigan Craft Beverage Industry Lansing  $45,662.00  
Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association New Herbicides and New Uses for Michigan Nursery Shrub Containers Okemos  $91,555.00  
Michigan Onion Committee Combining Pest Control Strategies to Increase Quality of Yield of Michigan Onions St. Johns   $98,814.00  
Michigan Potato Industry Commission Climate Resilience in Potato:  Field and Storage Assessment East Lansing  $100,000.00  
Michigan State Horticultural Society Improving Grape Berry Moth Management in Michigan Vineyards Benton Harbor  $99,979.00  
Michigan Tree Fruit Commission Characterizing Apple Storage Practices and Potential Risk of Listeria Contamination Lansing  $99,984.00  
Michigan Vegetable Council Getting to the Root of the Problem: Increasing Vegetable Plant Establishment and Productivity St. Johns   $90,591.00  
Michigan Vegetable Council Advancing Agbot and Drone Technologies for Sustainable Soil and Weed Management in Michigan Vegetables. St. Johns   $99,891.00  
West Central Michigan Horticultural Research, Inc. Finding Solutions to Cherry Orchard Replant Disorder Using Chemical and Organic Amendments Hart  $95,685.00  
MDARD International Program International and Domestic Promotion of Michigan Specialty Crops Lansing  $168,590.98

“Michigan leads the nation in the production of many fruits and vegetables and is second in diversity of our crops only to California,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow said. “Our fruits, vegetables and nursery crops are not only a source of great pride – they are critical to our state’s economy. This new support is a big win for Michigan agriculture. It will help our farmers keep their competitive edge and continue to provide healthy fruits and vegetables to American families.”