Jul 18, 2018
Michigan agriculture grant goes to St. Julian Wine

During its regularly scheduled meeting July 18, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants for five food and agriculture projects in Michigan.

The projects will help grow companies focused on processed fruit, dairy, and soybean operations, as well as support the expansion of consumer-demand driven, value-add Michigan products.

Among the companies receiving grants was St. Julian Wine off Paw Paw, Michigan,. St. Julian will receive a $125,000 performance-based grant to increase tank capacity by installing a new chilling system that is more efficient and environmentally friendly. The project will lead to the installation of 11 new tanks, allowing St. Julian to add 132,000 gallons to its current capacity, which will process roughly 725 tons of additional fruit.

As a part of its growth strategy, the St. Julian plans to add additional capacity every year for the next five years, resulting in dramatic increases in the amount of Michigan fruit that will be contracted and processed. For nearly 100 years, St. Julian Wine Company has been owned by the same family, with the same commitment to using exclusively Michigan-grown fruit. St. Julian Wine Company will invest $1,487,250 in equipment and facility upgrades and expects to create three new full-time positions. 

Other funded projects were:

• Sugar Free Specialties, DBA Dr. John’s Candies of Comstock Park, Michigan, which will receive a $75,000 performance-based grant toward the purchase and renovation of manufacturing and office space to launch the world’s first natural, sugar-free lollipop, branded Healthy Sweets. 

• S & F Foods of Romulus, Michigan, which will receive a $75,000 performance-based grant to expand its production and freezer storage capacity to meet the demand for their first proprietary retail brand, Gluten-Free Delights. 

• Quality Roasting of Caro, Michigan, which will receive a $75,000 performance-based grant to support the construction and operation of a new 33,000 square-foot soybean processing facility in Indianfields Township, near Caro. 

• Michigan Milk Producers Association of Novi, Michigan, which will receive a $200,000 performance-based grant for a new 7,500 square-foot addition to the main processing area at their facility in Constantine, Michigan, as well as the installation and operation of new milk concentration equipment, processing and storage vessels.

“Michigan’s place as a national leader in the food and agriculture industry is undeniable,” said Gordon Wenk, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Not only do we produce some of the most diverse and highest quality products, but we’re also quick to adopt new technology and respond to consumer trends around the world. These grants are an effective way of accelerating development an

“We hold these projects up as great examples of what the Food and Agriculture Investment Program was designed to do: accelerate the growth of Michigan food and agricultural companies,” said Peter Anastor, director of MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division. “The support provided to grow food and agriculture businesses of all sizes will allow them to better compete in the agricultural marketplace.”

The Food and Agriculture Investment Program provides financial support for food and agriculture projects that help expand food and agriculture processing to enable growth in the industry and Michigan’s economy. Projects are selected based on their impact to the overall agriculture industry and their impact to food and agriculture growth and investment in Michigan. 





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