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Agricultural Innovation and Value-Added Initiatives #3

Structural changes in agricultural processing have affected many traditional supply/demand relationships between producers and their buyers. Value-added initiatives offer opportunities to deal with such changes and keep agriculture profitable.

We support:

  • Producers’ individual and cooperative efforts to improve income with processing and marketing that add value to farm products while maintaining food safety.

  • The Michigan State University Product Center’s objectives and ongoing efforts.

  • The coordination and formation of producer alliances and cooperatives.

  • Efforts to strengthen agricultural processing in Michigan. Incentives for existing and/or prospective processors should include (but not be limited to) industrial facility exemption options, tax breaks, regulatory reform/relief, and ample access to necessary inputs such as investment capital, labor, energy, and farm products.

  • A closer working relationship and collaboration between Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), including quarterly meetings between their staffs and leadership.

  • Agricultural representation on the MEDC to better serve agriculture and the food industry. We support Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development authority and/or oversight over granting MEDC funds for agricultural development activity.

  • The use of Michigan MarketMaker ( for featuring Michigan commodities and value-added products.

  • A coordinated effort between agriculture and controllers of publicly owned lands (e.g., county parks, rest areas, park-n-ride lots, etc.) to facilitate farmers’ on-site marketing of Michigan-grown products to consumers.

  • Tax incentives and infrastructure to increase Michigan’s food-processing capabilities.

  • State government establishing a low-interest loan program for funding qualified value-added ventures.

  • The Right to Process Act, including protections for agricultural processors and cooperatives.

  • Continued monitoring of the Michigan Cottage Food Law to ensure it maintains its original intent.

  • The use of one-time start-up grants (not recurring funding) for food hubs.

  • Encouraging institutions to purchase more food from local sources.

  • Additional research and development for value-added opportunities.

  • Grant programs for industry segments that struggle to secure loans because they are seen as high risk.

  • Government agencies cooperating to expedite innovative agricultural initiatives.

  • Annual funding of an ag innovation value-added initiative fund.

  • Funds for developing automation and robotics useful to Michigan agriculture.

  • Funds for studying the impact of automation, robotics, software, and communication technology on Michigan agriculture.

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