2018 Ohio Food Industry Summit


Thursday, March 1, 2018

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m. Registration and Networking


Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

100 Green Meadows Drive South

Lewis Center, OH


To register or for more informaiton simply visit:







A trade update for West Michigan manufacturers




An international trade update for West Michigan businesses


Join The Right Place and GVSU's Van Andel Global Trade Center for an important trade update on NAFTA. Mr. Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, will provide the keynote address. Mr. George will discuss the important trade relationship between Michigan, Canada, and Mexico. He will share insights on what may come with NAFTA’s uncertain future.

Mr. George’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with local manufacturers, moderated by Sonja Johnson, Executive Director of GVSU's Van Andel Global Trade Center.



Monday, February 26, 2018




GVSU Eberhard Center

301 Fulton West, Grand Rapids, MI 49504


There is no cost to attend. Space is Limited.


REGISTER at       



125 Ottawa Ave., Suite 450, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


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Crain's Detroit Business


Michigan Food Producers To Travel To China, South Korea



  • Nine Michigan food producers travel to China this week
  • Trade mission is led by state agriculture department
  • Some of the companies will join trip to South Korea


The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is leading nine Michigan food producers on a trade mission to China this week.

This is the second agriculture exports mission Director Jamie Clover Adams will lead. She and Gov. Rick Snyder initiated the efforts in travel to the Asian country in September 2012.

Four new companies will join MDARD on the trip, while five others will return to advance talks or finalize agreements, according to a news release. Several of the companies that traveled in the first trip projected to boost exports by $1 million in the next over the next year, the release said.

Some of the companies will join Chicago-based Food Export Association of the Midwest USA on a trip to South Korea on Wednesday and Thursday to meet buyers in Seoul, according to the release.

The following companies will take the Monday-Wednesday trip to China :

  • Shoreline Fruit Growers Inc., Traverse City
  • Nirvana Tea Inc., Southfield
  • Graceland Fruit Inc., Frankfort
  • Cherry Marketing Institute Inc., Dewitt
  • Cherry Central Cooperative Inc., Traverse City
  • United Hops Brokerage LLC, Greenville
  • Owens Family Foods LLC, dba Scotty O'Hotty, Dearborn
  • King Orchards Inc., Central Lake
  • Taste Bud Branding LLC, dba Herkner Farms, Traverse City





5th Annual

Pure Michigan

Agriculture Summit


Michigan's Premier Event for Food Producers and Buyers


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Suburban Collection Showcase, Novi


                                           1 day

                                                        purchasers 35+

                                   350+ suppliers


  • Connecting Buyers to High-Demand & Specialty Products

  • Prescheduled One-on-One Meetings with Growers and Processors

  • Networking for Retailers, Restaurants, Institutional Buyers Regional Distributors, and All Types of Food Producers


This FREE event is made possible through partnership by:


                                               Michigan Department of  Agriculture & Rural Development


Pure Michigan Business Connect









Sunday, 20 August 2017 10:15

Michigan Dept. of Ag to spur investment with $4.7M in new incentives

Written by  John Wiegand


West Michigan-based agribusinesses and food and beverage companies will soon have a new source of capital to fund expansion projects.

As of Oct. 1, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) will begin to deploy $4.7 million for its Food and Agriculture Investment Program, which it operated as a pilot project in the current fiscal year.

Officials believe the program will become a mainstay in Michigan’s economic development toolbox because it helps fill funding gaps for agribusiness expansion projects that do not meet the requirements for traditional performance-based grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

“I found during my time here that the MEDC has a lot of pressure on the funds they have available,” said MDARD Director Jamie Clover-Adams. “Many times, projects in the food and ag space don’t provide as many jobs, but for us, they’re important because of their impact on the whole supply chain. They provide benefits for farmers and people providing feed and truckers. We look at the whole supply chain.”

For projects to qualify for performance-based grants under the MEDC, companies must create more than 25 or 50 jobs, depending on if the company is located in a rural or urban environment. But even with large expansion projects, agribusinesses typically do not generate the required volume of jobs, sources said.

Additionally, the MEDC incentives must go to retain companies in the state, which isn’t normally a concern for agribusinesses.

Beyond supporting existing companies in the state, Clover-Adams hopes to use the funding to attract new, innovative agribusinesses to Michigan.

“You look at our agriculture and how diverse we are, but we rank 18th in the country in food processing,” Clover-Adams said. “We should be much higher than that, and I look at this as an opportunity to bring more of those companies to Michigan.”

The program marks the first time the state has offered a business development incentive targeted specifically at agribusinesses, said Peter Anastor, director of MDARD’s agricultural development division.

MDARD historically has offered a “value-add” grant program aimed at supporting startup agribusinesses. That grant program now will draw from the same pool of funds as the Food and Agriculture Investment Program.

The decision by Gov. Rick Snyder and the state Legislature to fund the program through the next fiscal year serves as a positive sign for the agriculture industry.

“I think it’s a huge win,” said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “It’s a recognition that agriculture is a little bit different than some of the other traditional manufacturing economic development activities that the MEDC engages in. It’s a positive for the agricultural industry.”


According to Byrum, incentives for agribusinesses have sweeping effects along the supply chain compared to other industries, even if they may not yield a large number of jobs.

“A processing plant that might handle corn, soybeans or wheat might not employ a lot of people, but the economic reverberation through the community can be tremendous,” Byrum said. “It can help increase the prices farmers receive, helping with transportation infrastructure (and) demands for transportation. The multiplier through the community tends to be pretty dramatic. Also, most of those activities are rural in nature. We spend a lot of time talking about rural economic development and this program will help foster that.”

MDARD awarded Saranac-based Herbruck’s Poultry Farm Inc. $100,000 under the pilot phase of its Food and Agriculture Investment Program this year to support the company’s new facility in Ionia.

“The creation of the Food and Agriculture Investment Program is an important recognition that agriculture is a unique sector when it comes to economic development — whether it’s the need for modern rural roads and highways, enhanced rural energy availability or access to other key public utilities,” Executive Vice President Herb Herbruck said in statement provided to MiBiz. “By working together with the agribusiness community through this new program, MDARD is providing an important complement to existing economic development tools.”

In addition to Herbruck’s, the state agency also awarded $225,000 to Coopersville-based Continental Dairy LLC and Fairlife LLC under the pilot phase of the program. Taylor-based Great Lakes HPP LLC received $150,000.

Sources interviewed for this report emphasized that MDARD is working in partnership with the MEDC to debut the new incentives.

“We’re not looking to go off on our own and do things in a separate manner from what the MEDC is trying to do,” Anastor said, noting one of the MEDC’s key focus areas is on agriculture. “On economic development projects, we’re going to work pretty hand-in-hand with them. I think where this gives us an advantage is that it gives us as a state, MDARD and the MEDC a new way to help companies that maybe don’t fit the MEDC’s requirements.”

Despite the planned collaboration on projects, MDARD has full autonomy and is not obligated to work with the MEDC on projects that receive the new grants, sources said.


Although the business development incentives available under the Food and Agriculture Investment Program are open to all subsectors of the agriculture industry, MDARD will focus its efforts on several key groups.

Specifically, the agency is targeting companies in the dairy, savory snacks, baking and craft brewing sectors.

A report from Euromonitor International commissioned by the MEDC notes the dairy sector is Michigan’s largest agricultural sector and has a growth rate comparable to other fast-growing markets. The nearly $65 billion U.S. dairy industry is expected to grow approximately 2.8 percent annually through 2020, according to the report.

“In Michigan spirits, beer, savory snacks and dairy have had the largest historical gains,” according to the report. “The growth of these industries is anticipated to continue in the forecast, which shows a healthy and growing consumer market for these industries across the state.”

For Clover-Adams, the new grant program marks an important step forward to promote Michigan as a hub for agribusinesses.

“We’re just really excited about the growth opportunities that we have and we’re looking forward to working with companies and growing the sector,” she said.
















The MFPA prints a new directory each year. Please check your listing to make sure your company and personnel information is correct. MFPA dues should be current to be listed in the directory. Call Matt Breslin at 231.271.5752 if you need copies or have revisions.