Projects in Fennville, Hudsonville, receiving federal agricultural grants

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In this network photo, grapes grown for wine making are seen in southwest Michigan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, that nearly $1.3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is being distributed to groups for specialty crop projects across Michigan.
In this network photo, grapes grown for wine making are seen in southwest Michigan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, that nearly $1.3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is being distributed to groups for specialty crop projects across Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — More than $1 million in federal funding is being distributed to agricultural boards in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Tuesday.

The boards will use grants, made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to fund projects in cities and towns throughout Michigan. USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program offers federal funding to a state department of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry and the impacts to the food system due to COVID-19.

Michigan Celery Research will use a $100,000 grant to build resilience strategies for celery crops grown in the state, including strategies for weed, nematode and fertility management. The project is based in Hudsonville.

The Michigan Wine Collaborative will use a $125,000 grant to develop a wine brand, with driving sales of Michigan-grown grapes in mind. The wine project is based in Fennville.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry was hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19 from farm to fork,” Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell said in a statement.

“These much-needed funds will help our growers and processors continue to innovate and compete for new growth opportunities throughout the food supply chain, both nationally and globally. Michigan grown and made just tastes better.”

In total, nearly in $1.3 million in block grant funding is being distributed to groups in Michigan to fund specialty crop projects.

In Michigan, specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, according to MDARD.

— Contact Arpan Lobo at alobo@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @arpanlobo.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Projects in Fennville, Hudsonville, receiving federal agricultural grants

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