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Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant application is now live

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 10:44 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) have partnered to offer grant support for the farming and agriculture community. The Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant application process is now open to the public. The program will afford $15 million in grants to go towards Michigan farms and agricultural processors.

As the food and agriculture economy contributes over $100 billion annually to the state economy and provides 805,000 jobs, the governor said it is important that these sectors are protected and supported.

“The COVID-19 virus has especially impacted Michigan’s food and agriculture sector,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “This investment will provide critical resources to ensure the safety of Michigan’s food production industry and its workforce. We can further our economic recovery in Michigan by putting federal dollars through the CARES Act to work for the people and business across our state through efforts like these to help with costs incurred by farms and food processors in the fight against COVID-19.”

Applicants must apply as either a processor or a farm. However, they cannot apply as both. The funding is able to provide grants of up to $1,000 per employee. The funding can be used for testing costs, personal protection equipment, facility needs, increased sanitation costs, employee training, as well as upgraded safety procedures for farm-provided housing.

“The next few months are absolutely critical for Michigan’s farming and food processing industries, so these resources couldn’t come at a better time,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “To help ensure the health and safety of essential workers in our food supply chain, they will need testing, PPE, and housing or facility updates. We are very thankful for the work of our partners at MEDC and GreenStone for getting this process up and running so quickly.”

Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis or until all of the funding has been awarded. Therefore, it is best to apply as soon as possible. The applications will be processed by East Lansing-based GreenStone Farm Credit Services.

The application, along with more information and eligibility criteria, can be found here.

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