Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, has announced $1,052,075 to help three sectors of Michigan agriculture.
• Federal support of $95,535 to Damian’s Craft Meats to bolster the production and distribution of locally produced meat in Southeast Michigan. These funds come through the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program in the 2018 Farm Bill.
• Federal support of $210,060 to the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to promote five farmers markets in Northwestern Michigan and grow their customer base among residents and tourists. These funds come through the USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program in the 2018 Farm Bill.
• Federal support of $746,480 investment to Michigan State University to strengthen local food systems by connecting food and farm entrepreneurs in Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. These funds come through the USDA’s new Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program in the 2018 Farm Bill.
“When we produce food here, we create jobs here in Michigan,” said Senator Stabenow. “This is a win-win for families and local food producers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Jamie Rahrig, project lead with the MSU Center for Regional Food System and the MSU Product Center, said the $210,060 funding will help create “a more cohesive infrastructure to better support urban and rural communities of need in Michigan.”
“We will expand the reach of the Michigan Good Food Fund to assist local food and farm entrepreneurs who bring healthy and affordable foods into Battle Creek and the Upper Peninsula,” she added.
As for the Farmers Market Promotion Program project, it will also encourage families who receive food assistance to purchase more locally-grown fruits and vegetables by promoting the Double Up Food Bucks program. That doubles the value of food assistance dollars spent on local produce.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to build upon our existing relationships and work in partnership with five local farmers markets across Northwest Michigan to increase the access to, and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products,” said Natalie Kasiborski, deputy health officer at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “As a rural region, our farmers markets are an important part of both our local food system and economy. Using a multi-layered approach to facilitate growth of the market and to increase both visitors and sales will benefit not only the market and the farmers, but residents, visitors and the economy.”
Source: News release from the office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow