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FoodBiz

What was once seen as an interesting science fair project is looking more like it has potential to be a commercial reality.

West Michigan and the Netherlands share much more than a common ancestry and many familiar family and city names.

West Michigan wineries excited for 2012 vintage

Written by | Saturday, 13 October 2012 22:52 |

Those wine enthusiasts that immediately pass on Michigan wines in favor of more complex quaffs may want to give the state’s 2012 vintages another look.

Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced it has acquired three Wendy's restaurants in North and South Carolina. 

Like the proverbial canary in the mine, the first apple processors to feel the squeeze from this year’s bad harvest are the cider mills.

A mere 15 months after launching an offbeat diner in downtown Grand Rapids, owner Ryan Cappelletti has reached the enviable position where he can hand over the keys to his fellow workers.

For Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., Michigan wasn’t the first choice for its new plant, but it ended up being the best option.

The challenges keep coming for Michigan farmers.

Ottawa Co. studies ag incubator

Written by | Sunday, 05 August 2012 18:04 |

One West Michigan county plans to study whether it can feasibly tap into its historical roots in agriculture to create a new business incubator aimed at creating a sustainable economic future.

With the 16-year-old Arcadia Brewing Co. running out of capacity its longstanding downtown Battle Creek location, Tim Suprise went looking for a new location. He shopped around all of West Michigan before settling on downtown Kalamazoo. 

MSU Extension pushes research to the people

Written by | Friday, 06 July 2012 15:50 |

LANSING — As one of the oldest agricultural extension programs in the country, Michigan State University Extension continues to serve the state's farmers and agribusiness communities despite dealing with serious funding cuts over the past four years. 

The Michigan State University Extension serves as the cooperative extension service for Michigan and is affiliated with Michigan State University. In essence, it serves to make available MSU's agriculture research to agribusinesses and communities across the state.

WALKER — An employee's years of experience with the food processing industry proved invaluable for a startup sheet metal shop in developing innovations to help save customers time and money and keep them in compliance with stricter food safety regulations.

Jim Monaweck, project manager for Walker Custom Sheet Metal LLC, knows the food business. He grew up on a farm and spent years in the fabrication business creating machines and other custom products for the food processing industry. 

HUDSONVILLE — While news of $300 million worth of destroyed crops certainly merits attention, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Keith Creagh said he believes it's important for the state to keep its eye on agriculture's role in the future of the state's economy.

Creagh, who spoke at "MiFood 2012: Michigan Food Processing and Agribusiness Summit" on May 23 at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, told a crowd of food processors that Gov. Rick Snyder is committed to helping the state's food and agriculture industry to grow from $71 billion to $100 billion.

KALAMAZOO — Historically, food-based entrepreneurs faced many discouraging regulatory and cost hurdles in Michigan, but all that changed with the passage of the state's Cottage Food Law in 2010.

Businesses partners Kelli Eaton and Sara Main, best friends since they attended Sturgis High School, are two local entrepreneurs taking advantage of the changes to start their own small business, Fizzy Bread & Dips Co., all while maintaining full-time employment elsewhere.

Broadband key to farmers’ competitiveness

Written by | Tuesday, 22 May 2012 12:24 |

West Michigan farmers without access to the high-speed broadband grid are at a disadvantage when they have to compete with farmers who are connected to the best Internet technology.

"If Michigan agriculture is going to advance like our counterparts in the state's urban communities, we have to have the infrastructure to do it," said Matt Smego, legislative counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau. "Our farmers are competing in a global marketplace. We need this (high-speed broadband access) to be competitive from production to marketing."

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