Michigan ag department funding pinched

The Michigan Department of Agriculture has suspended some grant programs as the state makes budget concessions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ag development division director Peter Anastor says the Food and Ag Investment program and Value-Added Grant programs have been suspended for the current fiscal year as part of budget negotiations.

“We are still very focused on increasing our value-added processing.  How do we take all of these great products that are grown in Michigan, how do we keep it in Michigan for processing, how do we add value to that, and how do we use that value-added product for other products?”

He says future funding could change to improve food distribution channels as the pandemic amplified consumer demand to buy local.

“How are people going to buy food and how can our industry shift to those tendencies is going to be something that’s key here in the future.”

Anastor made comments during the recent Michigan Economic Developers Association’s Resiliency in Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Industry and the Post-COVID Future webinar.

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