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Michigan Ag Council receives grant to promote specialty crops

The Michigan Ag Council has received the $125,000 grant from the MDARD as part of USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program that gave $4.5 million to groups in Michigan. Image credit: Michigan Ag Council Download original
Date Posted: July 20, 2022

The Michigan Ag Council has received a $125,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The program offers federal funding to a state department of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry. Several organizations partnered with the Michigan Ag Council received funds as well.

The grant will be utilized over the next two years to support the marketing and promotion of specialty crops to consumers through live cooking demonstrations at Michigan festivals, fairs and farmers markets by local chefs, virtual demonstrations and how-to videos and media interviews. The goal of the program is to raise awareness of the health benefits and variety of ways to prepare dishes with specialty crops, ultimately increasing the sales of specialty crops in Michigan.

“This grant is an outstanding opportunity for the Ag Council to showcase the variety of specialty crops grown in Michigan,” commented Noelle Nachreiner, Executive Director of the Michigan Ag Council. “Consumers will have the ability to not only learn more about locally grown foods, but they will also get tips for preparing them from expert chefs.”

Several organizations partnered with the Michigan Ag Council also received funds through the Specialty Crop Block Program, including:

  • Michigan Christmas Tree Association – a training program for new and current Christmas Tree producers
  • Michigan State Horticultural Society – orchard innovations to sustain Michigan peach/nectarine profitability
  • Michigan State Horticultural Society – improving grape berry moth management in Michigan vineyards
  • Michigan Vegetable Council – increasing vegetable plant establishment and productivity
  • Michigan Vegetable Council – advancing agbot and drone technology for sustainable soil and weed management in vegetables
  • MDARD International Program – international and domestic promotion of Michigan specialty crops

The Michigan Ag Council is an organization of commodity groups and agribusinesses working together to raise awareness of food and agriculture today. The primary goal of the Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT campaign, established in 2016, is to build awareness for the more 300 commodities grown in Michigan and to encourage consumers to purchase local foods and products.

Media Contacts
Noelle Nachreiner headshot

Noelle Nachreiner

Agent Charitable Fund Manager
517-679-5573 [email protected]
Jon Adamy

Jon Adamy

Media Relations Specialist
(517) 323-6782 [email protected]