Michigan awards grants to juice maker and processor
During its regularly scheduled meeting in May, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grants for food and agriculture projects in Michigan, including in the processed fruit and juice operations.
“The Food and Agriculture Investment Fund provides key support to growing food and ag companies who transform these dollars into area jobs and supply chain efficiencies,” said Gordon Wenk, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Peterson Farms of Shelby, Michigan, will receive a $150,000 performance-based grant to expand their fruit processing operations with the installation of a new state-of-the-art individual quick frozen (IQF) tunnel focused on the frozen processing requirements of its growers’ tart cherries, sweet cherries, blueberries and peaches. The project will require a $5.8 million investment and lead to the creation of 30 to 35 new jobs. This additional IQF processing capacity enables Peterson Farms to process greater volumes of high quality fruit products produced by its over 850 growers, 550 of which are in the state of Michigan. With Peterson Farms’ enhanced processing capability it is expected growers will have greater options to deliver their processing fruit products thereby enhancing growers’ financial returns.
DROUGHT of Berkley, Michigan, will receive a $50,000 performance-based grant to assist with continued growth as the company relocates their operations to a new 15,000 square foot building in Berkley that will serve as their new juice processing facility. The overall project will require a $640,000 investment and lead to the creation of 15 new jobs. The initial project includes building renovations, site improvement and some equipment, and phase two adding additional equipment to accelerate their growth. DROUGHT is one of Michigan’s leading cold-pressed juice manufacturers and the all-female owned business has grown to six retail locations over the past eight years. DROUGHT sources approximately 70 percent of their fruits and vegetables from a variety of Michigan farmers and plans to use high pressure processing technology to expand distribution nationally.
The Food and Agriculture Investment Program is intended to provide financial support for food and agriculture projects that help expand food and agriculture processing to enable growth in the industry and Michigan’s economy. Projects are selected based on their impact to the overall agriculture industry and their impact to food and agriculture growth and investment in Michigan.