In the midst of a chilly Michigan winter, some state officials are already focused on the summer county-fair season.
The state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has awarded grant money to counties for improvements to their fairgrounds. Read more→
Local farmers worry about the impact proposed new regulations will have on their ability to provide affordable produce to Michigan communities. Photo courtesy of Nic Welty.
In light of the rise in food-borne illness outbreaks, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations for produce farms and food processors, and Michigan’s local farmers fear the changes could unfairly burden their operations and reduce options for consumers. Read more→
25 new jobs and $40,000,000 in investments are coming to Cass City in the Thumb.
The State is supporting a plan to build a new dairy manufacturing plant.
The Dairy Farmers of America, who are behind the project have been awarded a-half-a-million-dollar Michigan Business Development Program grant.
Jamie Clover-Adams is the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“It’s an excellent example of how communities in a region in the state can work together to have a project come to fruition. It’s also an example how the food and agriculture sector is really adding the state’s economy; adding jobs and investment and improving the value chain, and that benefits everyone in Michigan,” Clover-Adams said.
Clover-Adams said this is considered phase one of the expansion project. She said the market for milk and milk products is, in her words, “infinite.”
And she said that spells good news for the new factory and for the entire supply chain in the thumb and throughout the state.
Farmers in the northwest Michigan have begun harvesting sweet cherries this week. They say tarts will be ready next week.
Farmers say they’re happy to see a good crop this year after getting none last year. You may recall last year the early, warm March was followed by a late freeze that killed blossoms and ruined the crop.
Bill Johnson is a Benzie county cherry farmer.
“It’s a lot better than it was last year because we got wiped out with March 80 degree temperatures like that. It was one of the shortest crops we’ve ever had. This year is coming back a real good one. The sweets, as you can see, are not a real heavy crop, but they’re a good crop. And the sour cherry crop right through this area is real good. Real good,” Johnson said.
Johnson owns about 800 sweet cherry trees and 2,500 tart cherry trees. He said he prefers his right off the tree, when they’re in season.