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Business Briefs - May 8, 2013
Corn Yield Contest early registration open

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — As farmers across the country prepare for planting, the National Corn Growers Assoc. (NCGA) invites them to register for its National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) early.

Until June 15, growers can also take advantage of a special early entry discount. With fees reduced to $80 until that time, NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer. For access to contest information, contest entry and harvest rules and forms, visit farmers/national-corn-yield-contest

Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring companies. In San Antonio, Texas, during the 2014 Commodity Classic, winners will be honored during the NCGA Awards Banquet.
Tennessee farmers can apply for TAEP funding online

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has set June 1-7 as the application period for the 2013 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP).

This is the first year farmers have the opportunity to apply online; however, online participation is not mandatory. Producers can still submit paper applications during the application period, postmarked between June 1-7. Instructions for accessing TAEP Online accounts and applying for 2013 funds are listed at and outlined in the printed applications.
Producers have the opportunity to submit Application A for Livestock Equipment, Genetics, Hay, Grain and Feed Storage online. Application B for Producer Diver-sification is not available online and must be submitted by mail or hand-delivered. Producers new to TAEP will not have an account prior to June 1, but will be able to apply online during the application period.

Through TAEP, farmers can qualify for 35 or 50 percent cost share, ranging from a maximum of $1,200-$15,000 depending on the project. Dairy and cattle producers will need a current BQA number at the date of application. Producers with livestock on their farm will need to register their premises with TDA at www.ten  or by calling 615-837-5120.

Applications are available at most farm agencies including USDA Farm Service Agency, extension and Farm Bureau offices, as well as most farm supply stores. To ensure accuracy, producers are encouraged to work with their local extension agent or local TDA representative when completing the application.
Producers may get important messages and updates on the program by calling 800-342-8206.

Meijer expands Made
in Michigan initiative statewide

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer has expanded its program that supports Michigan small businesses to feature 55 new Michigan-made grocery products in all its stores statewide, Meijer Co-Chair Doug Meijer announced.

Meijer launched the Made in Michigan initiative in January 2012 with the Michigan State University Product Center for Food-Ag-Bio. Its goal is to help strengthen the state’s economy by supporting Michigan small businesses.

The initial offering of 49 grocery items – including marinara sauce, blueberry butter and gluten-free baking mixes – resulted in an estimated economic impact of $400,000 statewide. This year’s lineup of 55 Michigan-made grocery products will be more visible in all of the 102 Meijer stores in Michigan.

Items including barbeque sauces, cherry butter, salsas, guacamole and kettle chips are expected to have an estimated economic impact of $900,000 statewide said Matt Birbeck, High Impact Venture Action Team (HI-VAT) project manager for the MSU Product Center.

Meijer worked with the MSU Product Center and its HI-VAT initiative to expand the program and ensure all the suppliers had the right food protocols and supply chain procedures. The items are expected to remain on the shelves for a year, and will have an opportunity to branch out chain-wide.

Of the initial items that were featured in 33 Meijer stores last year, a few products are under consideration to be mainstreamed onto the shelves as part of the retailer’s regular grocery offerings.