Businesses to receive funds to expand agricultural markets

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLUC) - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced support to expand agricultural markets across Michigan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Producer Grant program, which helps farmers and growers develop marketing strategies for agricultural commodities.

"Michigan agriculture supports one out of every four jobs in the state," said Senator Stabenow. "With these types of new investments, we are helping Michigan agricultural businesses expand and get more customers for their products. This type of support can help increase sales for local farmers and boost our small town economies."

The Value-Added Producer Grant program was reauthorized by Senator Stabenow's 2014 Farm Bill and is used to develop new agricultural products or create additional markets for existing ones. Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 also provides new financial tools and support for value-added processing.

Below are the Michigan awardees:

Aurora Cellars in Suttons Bay will receive a $240,000 grant to expand their direct-to-consumer customer base.

Mackinaw Trail Winery, LLC in Petoskey and Manistique will receive a $193,500 grant to increase their customer base for hard cider by 317 percent.

MI Hop Alliance, LLC in Traverse City will receive a $248,000 grant to help purchase hops from the Old Mission Hop Exchange.

Sunnyside Farms in Redford will receive a $49,900 grant to increase production of canned goods to accommodate for their demand.

Grand Traverse Culinary Oils, LLC in Traverse City will receive a $7,000 grant to explore the feasibility of expanding their market beyond their local farmer’s markets.

Iron Fish Distillery, LLC in Thompsonville will receive a $250,000 grant to process, package, and market their spirits.

Algomah Acres Honey Farm in Mass City will receive a $10,500 to expand their customer base and produce 100 more gallons of mead. They also plan to begin bottling their honey soda.

Petoskey Farms Vineyard & Winery, LLC in Petoskey will receive a $250,000

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