U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the announcement that RMG Maple Products, Inc. in Rudyard will receive $11,500 to study the potential market for USDA-certified organic maple syrup. This support comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value-Added Producer Grant program, which helps farmers and growers develop marketing strategies for agricultural commodities. This grant program was reauthorized by Senator Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill and is used to develop new agricultural products or create additional markets for existing ones.
‘Michigan agriculture supports one out of every four jobs in the state,’ said Senator Stabenow. ‘With these types of new investments, we are helping Michigan farmers get more value from their products. That type of support can help increase sales for local farmers and boost our small town economies.’
Agricultural products like fruits, vegetables, and maple syrup – also known as ‘specialty crops’ – play a major role in Michigan agriculture. With the exception of California, Michigan leads the nation in crop diversity, growing and producing more than 200 unique commodities. Senator Stabenow’s Farm Bill strengthens the value-added producer program and programs for specialty crop farmers, invests in the research and promotion of specialty crops, supports programs to stop pest and disease threats, and helps family farmers sell more goods locally.
Today’s announcement is part of a $34 million investment from USDA’s Office of Rural Development for 258 businesses across the country.
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