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Agribiz (67)

LANSING — A series of bills could open the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council to members from the distilling, craft beer and other alcoholic beverage segments.

Greg Koch has a front row view of the seismic shifts playing out in the world of American craft brewing. The co-founder and executive chairman of Escondido, Calif.-based Stone Brewing Co. — the 17th largest brewery in the country — also isn’t shy about sharing his views on the trend of large conglomerates buying up craft breweries.

JACKSON — Indian Brook Trout Farm Inc. plans to leverage $150,000 it received through a state grant to win vital contracts with national grocery retailers.

During this year’s ArtPrize, downtown Grand Rapids was filled with the expected sights — oversized artwork, misused crosswalks, the guy riding a fish bicycle. But there was a surprise greeting visitors who flocked to the eighth-annual event: Food trucks. All over the place. With lines in front of them.

When urban farming entered the mainstream thinking of community and economic developers, many prospective farmers envisioned a quick payday selling their products to high-end restaurants and other retailers. 

Zeeland Farm Services Inc. plans to invest $130 million into a new soybean processing facility in Ithaca, 45 miles north of Lansing.

major player in Big Agriculture is poised to expand its influence in the industry.

While the challenge of finding talent makes headlines in the manufacturing and high-tech industries, similar struggles in West Michigan’s agricultural sector have the potential to hit even closer to home: the dinner table. 

KALAMAZOO — Ernie Pang’s goal to produce healthier snack foods didn’t quite pan out at first.

Michigan corn growers are disappointed by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement on Nov. 30 that they say fails to require enough corn-based ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

A group of local government officials and economic developers in Kent County wants to develop new strategies to grow the area’s agricultural and food-processing industry. With the results of a new study conducted by the Kent County Agribusiness Community Workgroup, they’re now armed with the data to help inform that process.

For startup food vendors, gaining access to shelf space at major retailers such as Meijer Inc. and SpartanNash Co. can often mean the difference between remaining a cottage business or scaling up their operations to the next phase of growth.

Imagine spending time and resources to develop a product only to find out that you won’t be able to describe it on the label in a way you think best resonates with consumers.

Michigan hop producers have been on a growth streak in recent years, fueled by demand from the state’s craft beer industry for locally sourced ingredients.

As Michigan hops production spiked in recent years, startups have begun to recognize a need for another key locally sourced beer (and spirits) ingredient: malted grain.

With the acquisition of a West Michigan company, a California-based producer of specialty mushrooms plans to reinvigorate operations at a mostly idled food processing facility in Scottville, where it expects to grow
1 million pounds of fungi annually.

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