Senator Stabenow Announces over $2 Million for Michigan Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced that Michigan will receive $2,255,304 in federal funding across 21grants to support Michigan specialty crop growers who produce fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees, hops, flowers and other nursery products. The funding was announced as part of $72.9 million awarded to 55 states and territories through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Stabenow created the program in the 2008 Farm Bill.

“From apples and asparagus to blueberries and cherries, Michigan farmers produce more than 300 different crops, making Michigan one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the country,” said Senator Stabenow. “These crops are a source of great pride in our state and are critical to our economy. This funding will support our producers and strengthen Michigan’s ag economy as we face rising labor costs, increasing import pressures, and emerging pests and diseases.”

Prior to 2008, the federal Farm Bill focused on traditional commodity crops and had no section dedicated to fruits and vegetables. In 2008, Senator Stabenow authored the first-ever fruits and vegetables section of a Farm Bill to provide support for the specialty crops that are vital to Michigan’s economy. Senator Stabenow continues to leverage her position as Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee to strengthen support for these crops and make major investments in organic crops and local and regional food systems.

The 21 Michigan projects being announced today are made possible by the funds Senator Stabenow secured in the 2018 Farm Bill and will be administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Michigan State University will also partner with several of the grant recipients. The funds will help growers promote their products at home and abroad, protect crops from pests and diseases, improve sustainability and climate resiliency, and boost market competitiveness for specialty crop farmers across Michigan.

The 21 grant projects include:

  • The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development’s International Marketing Program - $158,395.00
  • Michigan State University – $97,878.00
  • The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board – $100,000.00
  • The Michigan Tree Fruit Commission – $98,237.00
  • The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association – $100,000
  • The Michigan Blueberry Commission – $99,000
  • Celery Research, Inc – $97,451
  • The Michigan Bean Commission – $100,000
  • The Michigan Vegetable Council – $98,084
  • The Michigan Cherry Committee – $125,000
  • The Michigan Onion Committee – $98,780
  • The Hop Growers of Michigan – $105,549
  • The Michigan State Horticultural Society – $100,000
  • The Michigan Apple Committee – $125,000
  • The Michigan Carrot Committee – $100,000
  • The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association – $125,000
  • The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo – $80,000
  • Kids’ Food Basket – $125,000
  • The Michigan Christmas Tree Association – $89,081
  • The Michigan Potato Industry Commission – $93,795
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – $130,972

Further grant details can be found here.