State seeks Grant proposals to promote agricultural products

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is seeking grant proposals for the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) offering federal matching funds for the food and agriculture industry.

"By leveraging federal and private resources, these competitive grants allow the continued growth of Michigan's $71.3 billion food and agriculture industry," said Keith Creagh, MDARD director. "We encourage Michigan food and agriculture organizations to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new options as they compete in the global market."

FSMIP funds a wide-range of projects that address barriers, challenges, or opportunities at any stage of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale, and retail. Proposals may involve small, medium, or large scale agricultural entities but should potentially benefit multiple producers or agri-businesses. Proprietary proposals that benefit one business or individual will not be considered.

Eligible agricultural categories include livestock, livestock products, food and feed crops, fish, horticulture, viticulture, apiary, and forest products and processed or manufactured products derived from such commodities.

Reflecting the growing diversity of U.S. agriculture in recent years, FSMIP has funded projects dealing with nutraceuticals, bioenergy, compost, and products made from agricultural residues.

The guidelines are available at www.ams.usda.gov, click on ''grant programs.'' If you are interested in submitting a proposal, contact Nancy Nyquist at 517-241-4381 or nyquistn@michigan.gov. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 12. MDARD will review and forward approved submissions to USDA.

Published: Mon, Feb 20, 2012

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