The eighth annual Making It in Michigan conference and Premier Specialty Food Marketplace Trade Show took place Nov. 10 at the Lansing Center in Lansing. This year’s theme was “Ingredients for Success – Components and Processes for Safe, Sound and Smart Product Development.”
The Michigan State University Product Center hosts the conference. The Product Center was established in 2003 with funds from AgBioResearch and MSU Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors.
Chris Peterson, Nowlin Chair for Consumer-Responsive Agriculture in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, is the center’s director. Dean Fred Poston presented Dr. Peterson with a tribute letter sent on behalf of Gov. Rick Snyder. In the letter, the governor expressed deep appreciation for his years of dedication through his work with the Product Center.
The letter said in part, “On behalf of the people of Michigan, thank you for your dedication and commitment in helping Michigan businesses develop and commercialize goods in the food, agriculture, and bio economy industries. Utilizing the talent that Michigan has to offer is key to our comeback and reinvention. I am confident our state and countless individuals will long reap the rewards of your positive contributions.”
Product Center innovation counselors regularly assist entrepreneurs in making critical marketing, business and product decisions. As you view the following videos of Making It in Michigan award winners, you’ll get an idea of just how important the counselor-client relationship is. Watch as winners talk about the help and guidance they received from the Product Center. Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications television producer/director Kraig Ehm and Matt Birbeck of the Product Center produced the videos.
Click on the embedded links in the award title to watch:
Director’s Award: Mary Safie, president and CEO, Safie’s Specialty Foods
Barrier Buster: Joseph Oginsky, baker and business manager, Town-to-Town Gourmet Pastries
Value-Added Agricultural: Bonnie Steinman, public relations, Hop Head Farms
Entrepreneur of the Year: Brian Rudolph, co-founder, Banza
Start-Up to Watch: Jill Bommarito, president and founder, Ethel’s Edibles