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Sunday, 22 December 2019 12:40

Food Biz Outlook: Embattled ag industry hopes trade stabilizes in 2020

News that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement appears to be headed toward ratification comes as a positive for farmers across the country and especially in Michigan. 

Sunday, 22 December 2019 09:14

Michigan dairy farmer hopes for best as pricing environment improves

Dairy producers are struggling to make ends meet, and many dairy farmers have lost money for months or even several years straight. Jem-Lot Dairy’s Stephanie Schafer, who is also a district director with the Michigan Farm Bureau, said the situation is largely the result of low milk prices. Her farm keeps 300 dairy cows in Clinton County. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 10:46

Herbruck Poultry Ranch reaches $93K settlement in EEOC lawsuit

Egg producer Herbruck Poultry Ranch Inc. will pay $93,000 to settle a disability harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

Friday, 29 November 2019 10:22

Report highlights disparity between food prices, farmers’ bottom lines

For every dollar that Americans spent on yesterday’s Thanksgiving dinner meals, growers and ranchers received just 12.1 cents — even less than their average slice of the pie throughout the year.

Sunday, 13 October 2019 14:10

M&A Awards: Red Level leverages similar culture, values in deal for C/D/H

The February deal for Grand Rapids-based tech firm Conway, Dierking & Hillman Inc. allows Red Level Networks LLC to expand its client list, core I.T. services and reach across the state. 

Sunday, 13 October 2019 13:06

M&A Awards: Porter Hills merges with United Methodist Retirement Communities to better serve seniors

The March 2019 merger of Porter Hills Presbyterian Village Inc. in Grand Rapids and Chelsea-based United Methodist Retirement Communities Inc. brought together the strengths of two like-sized and like-minded organizations. 

Sunday, 29 September 2019 12:36

LOOKING OUTSIDE: Family businesses gain fresh perspective, stability with non-family leadership

Two years before Craig Wassenaar stepped into the role as president and CFO of Skytron LLC, a Cascade Township-based medical device company owned by the Mehney family, the plan for his next role with the business was already well underway. 

Sunday, 15 September 2019 12:30

Food/ag interests push for caution, common standards in PFAS testing

As the hunt for PFAS contamination has expanded into crops and livestock, it has revealed new food safety concerns related to the limited state-led testing system and lax federal standards. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019 12:00

Michigan hop growers optimistic for strong harvest, despite new challenges

Despite a historically cold spring, a year-over-year decline in acreage and new outbreaks of pests, some local growers of hops are reporting record-breaking harvests. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019 06:30

Farmland prices show stability, despite economic concerns

Agricultural land values have remained relatively stable throughout most regions in Michigan, even though many farmers continue to face serious headwinds. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019 07:00

New partners seek to end farmworker exploitation

Working under the hot summer sun, Ricardo Martinez and Yolanda Garrido concentrated on meeting their quota. They lost track of the hours, but bucket-by-bucket, seven days a week, they picked blueberries at a farm in Southwest Michigan. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 09:37

West Michigan businesses cite talent needs in urging feds to support refugee resettlement

West Michigan businesses are responding to reports from the White House that the U.S. government is considering drastic cuts to the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the country.

Sunday, 18 August 2019 17:15

Fatal grain elevator incidents a stark reminder to region’s farmers

The death count from frightful incidents involving enclosed grain elevators is on the rise — a stark reminder to West Michigan’s agricultural industry of the dangers of grain handling.

Sunday, 04 August 2019 19:34

DEVELOPING AN INDUSTRY: Companies race to supply Michigan’s fledgling cannabis industry, yet avoid the spotlight

West Michigan businesses are building strategies to accommodate and support the grand opening of the state’s new billion-dollar cannabis industry, although many still crowd behind a self-imposed shroud of secrecy. 

Sunday, 04 August 2019 19:19

Ex-Amway exec acquires 3 West Michigan Herman Miller dealerships

After a 40-year career at direct-selling giant Amway Corp., former Vice Chairman Bill Payne wanted to find a way to stay involved in the West Michigan business community. 

Sunday, 07 July 2019 19:00

Soggy fields hamper Michigan farmers

Time has run out for about 10 percent of crops in the state, as Michigan farmers face delays related to one of the wettest spring seasons on record. 

Sunday, 09 June 2019 19:00

GRCC president discusses role of industry collaboration in higher ed

Since Bill Pink became the tenth president of Grand Rapids Community College two years ago, he has become a leading voice for the state’s network of 28 community colleges.

Sunday, 02 June 2019 19:56

Statewide education issues take center stage at Mackinac Policy Conference

MACKINAC ISLAND — Education reform took center stage at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, the annual gathering of the top business and government leaders in Michigan organized by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, 26 May 2019 22:55

MSU, WMU tailor new workforce training programs to fit employers’ needs

In response to employers’ calls for action, colleges and universities throughout the state are making a major shift in their workforce training programs. Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, two of the state’s largest public universities, are responding to demands from business and industry leaders by collaborating with community colleges to add more accessible, job-focused credentialing programs to their curriculums.

Sunday, 12 May 2019 22:42

Q&A: John Behrens, Co-founder, Farmhaus Cider Co.

According to Nielsen data supplied by the United States Association of Cider Makers, the cider beverage category continues to expand, with off-premise sales up 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018 versus the prior year. Customers also are buying local: Regional cider sales are growing four times as fast as national cider brands.

Sunday, 28 April 2019 18:19

Michigan hop growers respond to loss of acreage, changing tastes

Although Michigan has earned a spot among the nation’s top producers of hops after a growth spurt in the last five years, 2018 served as a moment of reckoning for the state’s growers, whose overall acreage declined. The state remains the fourth-largest cultivator of hops, although still lags well behind the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., where almost 96 percent of the nearly 58,000 acres of hops are grown in the country.

Sunday, 21 April 2019 21:02

Statewide industrial hemp pilot program planned for 2019 planting season

Michigan is “a natural fit” for industrial hemp production, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday as the state launched an industrial hemp pilot program for the 2019 planting season. The new program allows for the growth, cultivation and marketing of Michigan grown industrial hemp.

Friday, 19 April 2019 09:19

Former owner of Stamp Farms pleads guilty to fraud

A Decatur couple has pleaded guilty in federal court to multi-million dollar fraud charges involving their operation of one of Southwest Michigan’s largest corporate farms.

Wednesday, 03 April 2019 21:21

Founders Brewing, Mahou San-Miguel acquire majority stake in Colorado brewery

Founders Brewing Co. has partnered with its Spanish investors to acquire a majority stake in a Colorado-based craft brewer.

Sunday, 31 March 2019 22:45

Study: 43% of Mich. residents face financial instability

A growing group of Michigan residents are working but not bringing home a paycheck big enough to cover their basic expenses, according to a new study by the Michigan Association of United Ways. The ALICE research project, which released new data last week, found that 14 percent of Michigan’s population lives below the federal poverty level. Another 29 percent are “asset-limited, income-constrained, employed” (ALICE), a measure of the so-called working poor who earn more than the federal poverty level but less than the cost of living.

Sunday, 31 March 2019 22:13

Preparing for when the family farm must change hands

Succession planning can be an emotionally-charged family affair for businesses in any industry. That’s especially true for all sizes of family-owned farms, which make up more than 97 percent of the industry nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Friday, 22 March 2019 11:18

Scripps bid for WXMI, other stations could pave way for Nexstar-Tribune merger

E.W. Scripps Co. plans to acquire eight television stations, including Grand Rapids-based WXMI, in the most recent arrangement to come from the mega-merger of a pair the nation’s largest media giants.

Sunday, 17 March 2019 22:23

Q&A: Richard Rediske, GVSU’s Annis Water Resources Institute

The path to cleaning up man-made chemical contamination is expensive, complex and can take generations. That’s according to Richard Rediske, senior program manager and professor of environmental chemistry at Grand Valley State University’s Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute. Rediske, an expert on PFAS, has worked with the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Remediation, the group that for years has been chronicling contamination at the former Wolverine World Wide Inc. tannery site in Rockford.

Sunday, 17 March 2019 22:22

Michigan congressional delegation takes leadership position as first responder to PFAS

As the scope of PFAS contamination continues to grow nationwide, lawmakers in other states increasingly are taking note of how the situation is being handled in Michigan. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, recruited about 30 members of Congress “from virtually every part of the county” to join a bipartisan “PFAS taskforce” he formed with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Sunday, 10 March 2019 20:53

Federal court orders Boersen Farms to pay $14.9 million for unpaid debts

GRAND RAPIDS — A federal judge has ordered the financially-embattled Boersen Farms Inc., related entity Boersen Farms AG LLC, and its owners to pay nearly $14.9 million to Tennessee-based Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC for unpaid debts.

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