Tag Archives: msu product center – food ag bio

MAFI reflects confidence in Michigan food and agriculture industry

Leaders in Michigan’s food and agriculture industry are feeling positive about food and agriculture in Michigan. The results of the recent Michigan Agriculture and Food Index (MAFI) reflect their optimistic outlook. In addition, their confidence in our state’s economy overall is climbing.

Twice a year since April 2013, staff members at the Michigan State University Product Center Food-Ag-Bio have sent questionnaires to leaders chosen to give their opinions about the current business climate in the food and agriculture industry. These leaders, members of the Food and Agriculture Roundtable, are made up of farmers, food processors and people who run agribusinesses.

The results of the surveys are used to create the MAFI. A score of 100 is considered neutral on the index’s rating system. Ratings above 100 are considered positive and ratings below 100 are considered negative. Since the index’s inception in 2013, the ratings have never been negative. In addition, ratings on the state of Michigan’s overall economy have grown from 115 in April 2013 to 120 in January 2014 to 133 in April 2014. More than 70 percent of those surveyed are positive about Michigan’s economy.

The index also showed respondents ratings of the state of the food and agriculture system, which showed a steady confidence on all three surveys with indexes of 147, 146 and 145 for each survey, respectively. In addition, respondents generally believe that sales will increase, and the investment index increased 8.4 percent from January to April. The employment index remains unchanged from January.

The index helps Michigan State University Extension educators and specialists to better understand the needs of the industry and determine how our efforts influence conditions.

Check out this article and video from WILX, which features Gov. Rick Snyder; Dr. Chris Peterson, director of the Product Center; and Betsy Braid, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications educational program coordinator: http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/State-Agriculture-Business-Booming-268187132.html

Read more on the MAFI in the executive summary: http://expeng.anr.msu.edu/uploads/files/42/MI%20Food%20and%20Ag%20Roundtable%20results%207-18.pdf

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Governor praises and challenges Michigan agriculture at Ag Expo

On Tuesday at the Ag Expo VIP Breakfast, I had at the privilege of sharing the podium with Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon as well as Dr. Chris Peterson, director of the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio.

Gov. Snyder praised agriculture as a steadying force but challenged leaders of agriculture to keep it growing into the future. His top priority is working to develop and keep a growing skilled work force in agriculture and other trades. He also highlighted the food safety innovation done here at MSU.

Read more about what the governor said in this news release from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/gov._snyder_challenges_mich._ag_leaders_to_take_leadership_role_in_world_fo

Dr. Peterson announced the results from the latest Michigan Agriculture and Food Index (MAFI), which show that leaders in the food and agriculture industry remain optimistic about their businesses and Michigan’s economy.

Read more about the MAFI results in this ANR Communications release: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/michigan_state_university_food_and_ag_leaders_hopeful_about_industry_state

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Product Center director discusses ag outlook

In a recent Spotlight article about Michigan Food and Agriculture Month, I let you know that Michigan State University Product Center director Chris Peterson would be guest blogger for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Michigan Advantage Pure Michigan blog. Dr. Peterson’s blog entry is now posted and you can read it here: http://blog.michiganadvantage.org/industry-sectors/agri-business/food-and-agriculture-matters-in-michigan-chris-peterson/

Dr. Peterson discusses the Michigan Agriculture and Food Index.

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Blog posts, articles celebrate Michigan food and agriculture

Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder declared March Michigan Food and Agriculture Month.

Michigan State University Extension, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and agriculture commodities groups are partnering to promote something pretty basic, yet something that is so much a part of life that it often does not attract the attention of more trivial matters ‒ our food: where it comes from, who grows it and how it gets to our cupboards, tables and lunch bags.

MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio director Chris Peterson and I were asked to submit articles for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Michigan Advantage Pure Michigan blog to add some land-grant perspectives on food and agriculture. I took the opportunity to let others know the important role that MSU Extension plays in educating residents in issues relating to food, agriculture and more. You can read my article here: http://blog.michiganadvantage.org/talent-enhancement/celebrating-michigan-food-and-agriculture-month-means-celebrating-lifelong-education/. Dr. Peterson’s article will be posted March 25. When I think of Dr. Peterson and the Product Center that he leads, I think of innovation, a hallmark of Michigan’s agriculture and food industries. I look forward to reading his blog to learn more about where our food and agriculture industries are headed for the future.

In one article, Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD director, shares facts on Michigan agriculture: http://blog.michiganadvantage.org/industry-sectors/agri-business/michigan-food-and-agriculture-its-celebration-time/.

Many of our colleagues who write articles for the MSU Extension website have responded positively to a call for articles that celebrate Michigan food and agriculture. Thank you for those submissions! In addition to the articles appearing on the MSU Extension website, our MSU Extension communicators and partner organizations are tweeting them and featuring them on Facebook posts. All are tweeting using #miagmonth. Others who tweet should feel free to use this hashtag when tweeting about Michigan Food and Agriculture Month. Thanks, everyone, for helping us promote Michigan food and agriculture through this joint effort!

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Extension staff member receives agriculture award

Michigan State University Extension program instructor and MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio innovation counselor Wendy Wieland received the Food and Farming Network Chapman Award for leadership in building a robust community food system in northwestern Michigan. She received the award Jan. 31 at the sixth annual Food and Farming Summit in Traverse City.

The Chapman Award is named after John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed. The inscription on the award reads “The 2014 Chapman award ‒ Given each year to the person that shows unerring dedication, enduring fortitude, and embodies the exceptional pioneering spirit that is remaking American agriculture right here in Northwest Michigan.”

“Wendy fits that bill precisely,” said Bill Palladino, senior policy specialist at the Michigan Land Use Institute, who organized the summit along with Extension educator Rob Sirrine, chair of the Food and Farming Network that sponsors the award.

Wendy served as co-chair of this year’s Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, which coincided with the Food and Farming Summit. The conference had a record attendance of more than 1,000 individuals. It originated as an MSU Extension‒led grazing conference and has grown in both scope and size ever since. Now, a collective of MSU Extension staff and community partners conducts the conference. It receives sponsorship support from Extension, the MSU Product Center, the C.S. Mott Chair of Sustainable Agriculture at MSU, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and a whole host of other regional and statewide sponsors.

 Congratulations, Wendy!

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Making It in Michigan conference produces winners – including Extension

The sixth annual Making It in Michigan conference and Premier Specialty Food Marketplace Trade Show took place Nov. 12 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Conference host, the Michigan State University Product Center Food-Ag-Bio, celebrated its 10th year.

Michigan State University Extension was honored at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Product Center that evening when Product Center director Chris Peterson presented the Network Partner award to Steve Lovejoy, associate director of MSU Extension, who accepted on Extension’s behalf.

The award recognizes the recipient for outstanding support provided to the Product Center and its network clients.

“The partnering efforts of the award winner have allowed the Product Center to achieve a special level of service excellence that could not otherwise have been achieved. We express our deep appreciation for all of the support that MSU Extension provides from base funding to utilizing Extension educators as our innovation counselor network. We look forward to continuing this partnership that extends the resources of Michigan State University to entrepreneurs and creates economic impact across Michigan,” said Dr. Peterson.

 

Chris Peterson, Michigan State University Product Center director, (left) presents MSU Extension with the Network Partner Award Nov. 12, 2013, following the Making It in Michigan conference at the Kellogg Center in Lansing, Mich. Associate director of MSU Extension Steve Lovejoy (right) accepts the award.  Photo credit: Sharp Marketing Associates

At the 10th anniversary celebration of the MSU Product Center at the Kellogg Center in Lansing, Mich., Chris Peterson, Michigan State University Product Center director, (left) presents MSU Extension with the Network Partner Award Nov. 12, 2013, following the Making It in Michigan conference. Associate director of MSU Extension Steve Lovejoy (right) accepts the award.
Photo credit: Sharp Marketing Associates

Cherry Capital Foods with owner John “Chip” Hoagland won the Business Partner award.

The Multimedia Production Unit in Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications produced some videos that highlight the entrepreneurial winners at the conference. Click on the links below on each award to view each video:

Entrepreneur of the Year: Drought (Jenny, Jane, Julie, Jessie and Caitlin James and Bianca Colbath)

Start-Up to Watch: The Gluten Free Bar (Marshall Rader)

Barrier Buster: Morano Foods (Greg Morano)

Value-Added Agriculture: Hickory Knoll Farms Creamery (Rusty Plummer and Mike Metzger)

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Making It in Michigan conference assists food and agricultural entrepreneurs, exhibits products

The sixth annual Making It in Michigan conference and Premier Specialty Food Marketplace Trade Show will take place Nov. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. This year’s conference theme is “Celebrate Your Business – Accelerate Your Achievement at Every Stage of Your Company.”

The Michigan State University Product Center Food-Ag-Bio hosts the conference, and this year the center celebrates its 10th birthday. The conference as well as the center assists the state’s entrepreneurs, producers, buyers and processors in the food and agricultural businesses in achieving success. The MSU Product Center was established with funds from the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (now AgBioResearch) and MSU Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors. Project GREEEN also provides funding. Chris Peterson, Nowlin Chair for Consumer-Responsive Agriculture in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at MSU, is the center’s director.

At morning educational sessions, conference attendees will learn to refine and grow their businesses. Topics covered will include focusing on the product in the package, growing your specialty food business further, marketing your food product and keeping regulatory requirements in check.

Tom McIntyre, vice president of communications for Domino’s Pizza, will deliver the keynote address.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to exhibit their Michigan-made food and agricultural products at the Premier Specialty Food Marketplace Trade Show, which will feature more than 150 new and existing businesses showingcasing their products. During the morning, the marketplace trade show is open exclusively to buyers and store owners, distributors, brokers and many others looking for new products to use or sell. In the afternoon, the marketplace trade show is open to the public at no charge.

Product Center team members will be on hand at the conference to assist and interact with participants.

One company whose owner is grateful to the Product Center is RNS Packaging, winner of the Michigan Business and Professional Association Award for being the Elite Sustainable Small Business in Michigan for 2013. The company manufactures premium nontoxic packaging while employing and retraining returning veterans. Founder Rich Daniels credits the Product Center with guiding the company’s mission and creating valuable relationships with dozens of business leaders. The company also established new sales outlets through participation in the Making It in Michigan conference and marketplace trade show.

Extension educator Joanne Davidhizar is Product Center Innovation Counselor of the Year. Joanne’s work focuses on product and business development in specialty crops. Read more about Joanne’s work here.

It’s not too late to register for the conference. Conference registration includes breakfast, lunch, educational sessions, digital copies of all presentations and reference materials, and admission to the marketplace trade show. Early registration cost is $79. After Nov. 1, the cost goes up to $99 and vendor registration is $185. Register at http://productcenter.msu.edu/miim/registration

Please promote this conference in your communities.

Read more about the conference here: http://www.sharpmkt.com/

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Filed under Conferences