Michigan farms, coops get market expansion grants

Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded grants to a number of Michigan farms, small businesses and cooperatives under a program designed to help develop new products or expand markets for existing ones.

They were among $34 million in funding awarded by the department’s Office of Rural Development to 258 businesses nationwide.

Brengman Brothers LLC winery, of Traverse City, and Gallagher’s Vineyard and Winery Corp., of Cedar, were given $250,000 each to open tasting rooms, while Indian Summer Cooperative Inc., of Ludington, got the same amount to increase production of applesauce cups.

Smaller grants were provided for market studies, including $11,500 to RMG Maple Products Inc. in Rudyard to examine the potential for USDA-certified organic maple syrup.

The Michigan Fiber Industry Coalition Cooperative received $15,000 to expand yarn markets.