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State seeks grant proposals for promoting Michigan ag products
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Department of Agriculture director Mitch Irwin recently announced that matching funds are available to the food and agriculture industry to enhance marketing of agricultural products. Administered by the state, the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program will likely distribute over $1 million nationwide.

“Developing and expanding markets are key to ensuring the long-term viability of the state’s agriculture industry,” Irwin said. “We encourage Michigan food and agricultural organizations, large and small, to take advantage of every opportunity to promote their products and activities.”

Reflecting the growing diversity of U.S. agriculture, eligible categories include: livestock, livestock products, food and feed crops, fish and shellfish, horticulture, grapes, bees, forest products and processed or manufactured products derived from those commodities.

Small, medium and large-scale agricultural entities are invited to participate by submitting proposals that would benefit multiple producers or agribusinesses, and focus on market research and feasibility study needs (not on promotion or advertising).

Proposals may deal with barriers, challenges or opportunities present at any point in the marketing chain, including direct, wholesale, and retail. Proposals reflecting a collaborative approach between states, academia and the farm sector are of particular interest.

For an application and detailed guidelines, visit

Proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, and can be submitted via fax at 517-335-0628; mailed to the attention of Robert Craig, MDA Agriculture Development Division, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909; or online:

Published in the January 11, 2006 issue of Farm World.