Oct 18, 2017
Michigan awards specialty crop grants to 17

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Oct. 18 announced 17 recipients in the state would receive more than $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Jaime Clover Adams

“This group of awardees really speaks to the diversity and scope of Michigan agriculture,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams. “No matter how much time I spend in this job, it never ceases to amaze me how our growers and processors continue to elevate and refine their practices. And these specialty block grants are an essential resource for many of Michigan’s agriculture businesses that want to stay at the forefront of their industry.”

The grants, with a maximum award of $100,000 each, enhance the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crops.

Below is the list of grantees:

  • Cherry Central – $89,900. Enhancing cranberry processing innovation to expand U.S. and international markets.
  • Cherry Marketing Institute – $60,000. Partnering with online influencers to maintain Montmorency tart cherries competitive advantage.
  • Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology – $80,268. Specialty crop producer education at the Northern Michigan and Farm to School conferences.
  • Eastern Market Corporation – $100,000. Grow Eastern Market farm training acceleration program.
  • Hops Growers of Michigan – $92,167. Create Michigan hop growers state specific downy mildew recommendations.
  • Michigan Apple Committee – $100,000. Enhancing competitiveness of Michigan apples through consumer education online and in print.
  • Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board – $90,490. Integrated insect, disease and groundcover management in asparagus.
  • Michigan Bean Commission – $99,400. Process development and consumer acceptance of ready-to-serve fresh-like beans for retail and foodservice markets.
  • Michigan Carrot Committee – $78,427. Assessing fungicide sensitivity among carrot blight pathogens.
  • Michigan Cherry Committee – $99,949. Refining spotted wing drosophila management practices in Michigan tart cherries.
  • Michigan Christmas Tree Association – $72,173. Study to determine the benefits of char for microbes, weed, or conifer seedlings.
  • Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association – $83,834. Gaining herbaceous perennials market share for Michigan.
  • Michigan Potato Industry Commission – $100,000. Optimizing fall cover crop fertility management for vegetable cropping systems.
  • Michigan Tree Fruit Commission – $100,000. Using sorting technology to advance the competitiveness of Michigan’s apple industry.
  • Michigan Vegetable Council – $98,609. Optimizing fall cover crop fertility management for vegetable cropping systems.
  • Michigan Wine Collaborative – $89,500. Support wine industry through increased awareness, consumption, sales and sustainability.

Monroe County Community College – $79,000. Socially disadvantaged community partnership project.

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