United States Department
of Agriculture • Rural Development
Contact: Alec Lloyd (517) 324-5204
EAST LANSING, Dec. 7, 2007 – USDA Rural Development Director for Michigan Gene DeRossett today presented a $300,000 ceremonial grant check to Michigan Sugar Company to help the grower-owned cooperative expand its retail customer base.
“Agriculture is the second largest industry in Michigan,” DeRossett said. “This is an investment in building on that strength by helping locally-produced sugar find additional markets.”
The money is available through the Value Added Producer Grant program and will be used to offset the startup costs of a new marketing campaign and improved packaging. The cooperative is owned and operated by 1,200 producers. The company employs 450 full-time and 1,500 seasonal workers and generates a base economic impact of $335 million spread out over 21 counties. Its products include granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, liquid sucrose, pulp and molasses. During Fiscal Year 2007, USDA Rural Development invested more than $424 million in rural Michigan communities.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity, liquidity, and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/
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