Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Announces More than $183,000 to Support Local Food Initiatives in West Michigan

Monday, September 29, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $183,300 in support for Sprout Urban Farm in Battle Creek and Local First Educational Foundation in Grand Rapids. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which helps expand access to farmers markets and food hubs and develop new opportunities for farmers to sell locally.

"When we grow things here and make things here, we create jobs here in Michigan. Local food hubs and farmers markets connect families and small businesses with local farmers, which makes it easier to buy Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables," said Stabenow. "Buying local is a win for our economy, a win for Michigan agriculture and a win for consumers who will have better access to local food choices."

Support for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program was greatly expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was authored by Senator Stabenow and signed into law by President Obama in Michigan earlier this year. The new Farmers Market And Local Food Promotion Program helps improve and expand farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

Project details below:

Sprout Urban Farm in Battle Creek will receive $89,152 to increase Sprout Food Hub sales to institutions and the public by establishing a market-stand and packaging facility on its farm site.

Local First Educational Foundation in Grand Rapids will receive $94,148 to develop stronger marketing and promotion strategies for local Community Supported Agriculture, which allows people to buy into a community farm in return for fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products throughout the growing season.

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