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.
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 (https://mi.foodmarketmaker.com) 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.