From Staff Reports

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on July 30 announced grants totaling $1.8 million to 20 projects across the state through its competitive Value Added and Regional Food System Grant Program.

MDARD received 94 proposals with requests totaling nearly $8.5 million. The $1.8 million in grants for the 20 projects will leverage more than $12 million in private investments, according to a release.

Grants to businesses in northern Lower Michigan include:

  • Gallagher’s Vineyard & Winery (d.b.a. Rove Estate) (Traverse City) – $125,000. Gallagher’s Vineyard & Winery Corp (d.b.a. Rove Estate) Production Facility.
  • Next Phase Enterprises (Hillman) – $94,800. Establish Commercial Dry Bean and Hemp Flour Production Line to Expand Markets for Michigan Crops.
  • North Bay Produce (Traverse City) – $125,000. Purchase Compostable Packaging Equipment for Blueberries.
  • North River Distillery LLC (Jackson, but it uses potatoes grown in Kalkaska County) – $18,600. Increase Efficiencies to Make North River Vodka Production More Economically Feasible.
  • TCWC LLC, d.b.a. Traverse City Whiskey Company (Traverse City) – $125,000. Purchase Equipment for Improving Value-Added Production of Michigan Cherries and Spirits.

The 15 grants directed elsewhere in Michigan will help businesses involving shared-use kitchens, food packaging, mobile frozen storage, pickle production, bean milling technology, icemaking for tribal fishermen, celery, broccoli, popcorn, grapes, wine and pretzels.

MDARD promotes and manages several competitive grant programs through its Agriculture Development Division. More information about grant programs is available at