LANSING, Michigan — Today, the Michigan Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development voted to approve grants to five local Michigan businesses, totaling an estimated $430,000. These funds will allow companies to increase production space, expand services with a focus on sustainability and scalability, and create 166 new well-paying jobs. Grants were awarded to D’Still, LLC DBA Motor City Gas, Carnico Foods, Detroit Food Commons, Perdue Foods LLC, and MG88 Holland Cold Storage.
“Michigan is an agribusiness and agriculture powerhouse. Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s bipartisan budget, we continue to invest to enable local businesses to increase production, create new jobs for Michigan residents, and help make “Made in Michigan” known in the world. around the world,” said Gary McDowell, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “It is clear that the Commission, along with the Whitmer administration, believes that Michigan is the future of our growing food and agriculture industry and that it is time to invest now.”
Carnico Foods was formed in early 2022 out of a dire need for USDA facilities in the meat processing industry. Scott and Ali Ferry, owner/operators of Ferry Farms in Litchfield, MI, and a neighboring farmer, have expanded into Ferry Farms Wholesale (FFW). Carnico Foods serves as a processing, packaging, private labeling, co-packing and product development facility born out of a desire to meet FFW’s demand.
Carnico Foods received a $65,000 Investment Fund grant, creating eight new jobs and significantly increasing production capacity.
“We are so grateful for MDARD’s vision in allocating funds to help secure Michigan’s food supply, and for the confidence in our team to do our part to help grow Michigan’s agriculture industry,” said Alissa Ferry, owner of Carnico Foods.
Founded in 2015, D’Still, LLC DBA Motor City Gas (MCG) is a Royal Oak, Michigan-based whiskey distillery that uses 100% grain as its raw material to produce distilled spirits. 100% of this grain is currently grown in Michigan, and approximately 25% of this grain is grown by Motor City Gas on their family farm in Ann Arbor et. MCG experienced 100% year-over-year growth in each of its first six years.
MCG received $65,000 to make upgrades allowing them to increase production and processing. This expansion will allow MCG to launch statewide retail distribution and increase contract distillation for other start-up distilleries. Michigan just passed a law allowing craft distilleries to get a tax cut if they use 40% or more Michigan grain in their products.
DFC QALICB, Inc was formed in 2021 as a vehicle to receive New Market Tax Credit funding for the Detroit Food Commons Development Project. DFC QALICB is owned by Development Detroit Inc. (DDI) and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). DDI is a nonprofit developer that builds vibrant, resilient communities and expands opportunities for success for all Detroit residents. DBCFSN is recognized locally and nationally as a leader in the movement to create a racially just food system. Since 2010, he has led efforts to grow the Detroit People’s Food Co-op and the Detroit Food Commons.
“The Detroit Food Commons is a development project intentionally rooted in racial justice and economic equity. It pushes back the persistent racism that underdevelops majority black communities. The skillful combination of public and private dollars has made the Detroit Food Commons a reality. We appreciate the $100,000 support from MDARD’s Food and Agriculture Investment Program,” said Malik Yakini, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Detroit Food Commons received a $100,000 grant that will develop a new floor, mixed-use building, creating 47 jobs. The Detroit People’s Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store, will occupy the entire 14,549 square foot first floor. The second floor will house 3,783 square feet of fully licensed kitchen space, 3,897 square feet of community event and banquet space, and 3,160 square feet of office space for the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Perdue Farms, a fourth-generation American family-owned food and agriculture company based in Salisbury, MD, plans to invest more than $27 million to renovate an old food processing plant in Shelby, MI. The project is spurred by substantial growth in Perdue Foods’ pet treats division with products manufactured under the company’s Spot Farms® and Full Moon® brands, which are distributed in the United States and Canada.
Perdue received a $100,000 grant to create 99 new jobs while supporting Michigan’s agricultural industry and Michigan-based businesses. With this production expansion, the company is excited about the opportunity to source agricultural ingredients like apples, cherries and other fruits from Michigan growers.
“As people increasingly seek cleaner labels in what they feed their pets, this new production facility will play a key role in the continued growth of our human-grade pet treat brands. “, said Ryan Perdue, Vice President and General Manager of Perdue’s Pet Business. “The central location of this facility in Michigan will help us increase our supply chain efficiency, improve transportation costs, provide access to a strong local workforce, and enable multiple expansion phases within the existing footprint of the property. Importantly, the project grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will help support the creation of nearly 100 new jobs in the region, and we salute their efforts to encourage agricultural and manufacturing expansion. in the state.
MG88 Holland Cold Storage, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cold-Link Logistics Holland (CLLH), opened in April 2022 after a 10-month construction period. CLLH provides complete logistics solutions to producers and manufacturers of frozen meats, fruits and various grocery products. The company provides product freezing, storage, case preparation, cross-docking, load consolidation and logistics services to a wide range of customers.
MG88 Holland Cold Storage has received $100,000 which will enable a planned expansion of its existing warehouse. This expansion will allow meat packers, fruit growers and grocery manufacturers to access freezer storage space, which is in short supply in West Michigan. This investment increases the logistics capabilities of Michigan’s agri-food industry while creating ten new jobs.
“The Mandich Group and Cold-Link’s logistics team are very excited about the continued opportunities to expand our business in West Michigan,” said Jacob Russell, Managing Director of Cold-Link Logistics Holland, LLC. “Since the opening of our 150,000 square foot Phase 1 in March 2022, demand for our temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution services has been very strong, exceeding our expectations and opening the door to an additional 75,000 square feet. in Phase 2. We are developing good working relationships with many local and regional food processors and distributors, supporting their efforts to provide high quality food to the consumer. We are fortunate to have a good partnership with MDARD and sincerely appreciate the financial support.”
The Food and Agriculture Investment Program provides financial support for food and agriculture projects that help expand food processing and agriculture to enable the growth of Michigan’s industry and economy . Projects are selected based on their impact on the agriculture industry as a whole and their impact on growth and investment in food and agriculture in Michigan.
For more information about MDARD grants, visit Michigan.gov/MDARDGrants.