Big Announcements in Michigan’s Food Hub World

11/1/2012

Recent grant and technical assistance announcements for regional food hub development in Michigan continue a year of significant progress in that arena.

In October, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced nearly $1 million in grant awards to food hub projects, just months after Governor Rick Snyder and the state Legislature established and funded the program.

Six regional food system projects across Michigan received funding (5 of which were awards to food hubs)  through MDARD’s new program for supporting regional food system projects, in addition to eight value-added agriculture projects. A total of $1.9 million was available for both types of projects.

Regional Food System Project Awards
Grand Traverse Regional Market (NW MI)                     $200,000
Forgotten Harvest Food Processing Center (SE MI)     $200,000
Local Food Processing & Controlled Storage (SE MI)  $200,000
The Allen Street Food Hub (Mid-MI)                                                $188,565
The YMCA Veggie Van (West MI)                                      $   24,797
U.P. Local Food Network (U.P.)                                         $164,059

The total grant funding available pales in comparison to demand for such funding. MDARD market development specialist Nancy Nyquist reports the agency received 63 applications adding up to $7.8 million in requests. The interest shown this year may increase the likelihood that future rounds of this grant opportunity will be available. “We will continue to work with the administration and the Legislature on continuing the grant program and are hopeful that the success of the current projects will demonstrate the need.” Nyquist said.

At about the same time, the Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network, which formed earlier this year, named a crew of consultants now available to assist community and commercial food hub efforts across the state. The Food Hub Network’s consultants will each work in different geographic areas of the state to help convene and support food hub development efforts. They will also connect community and business organizations involved with each other and with state and national resources.

See the list of consultants below to find one near you. For more about the statewide food hub network, including the opportunity to join  its email listserv, contact Rich Pirog, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or Marty Gerencer, Morse Marketing Connections, LLC (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Food Hub Consultants: Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network

· Jane Bush (Barry, Jackson, Livingston, Washtenaw counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)· Joe Colyn  (Calhoun, Kalamazoo counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)· Cary M. Junior (Macomb, Oakland, Wayne counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)· Megan Masson-Minock (Genesee county and urban/regional planning support statewide): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
· Rory Neuner (Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Shiawassee counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
· Anne Ottaway (Upper Peninsula): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
· Mark Rais (Cheboygan, Otsego, and neighboring counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)· Trish Varney (Mason and Oceana counties): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)