By KEVIN WALKER
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has released its latest edition of Michigan Agriculture magazine, a partnership between MDARD and the state’s agricultural community.
This issue features 100 years of food and agriculture in Michigan, spotlighting companies such as Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Michigan Sugar Co., Sportel Greenhouses, Vernors Ginger Ale and Koegel Meats. These companies had their start in Michigan and chose to stay in-state.
Michigan Agriculture was unveiled during the state’s Food and Agriculture Day in Lansing on March 22. “Michigan’s food and agriculture industry has been a significant driver of our state’s overall economic success,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “As one of our largest industries, food and agriculture continues to provide new business and career opportunities that will continue Michigan on the path to greater success.
“Food and Agriculture Day is an exciting way for us to celebrate all that’s been accomplished, while looking forward to the bright future of this thriving industry.” MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams added, “Today is a time to step back and appreciate the bounty and diversity of Michigan food and agriculture. We often fail to realize how much of our food is grown or made by people or families just down the road.
“Whether you’re enjoying a tender grilled steak at a summer barbeque, sweet apples in a homemade pie, crunchy potato chips for a late-night snack or even a unique craft brew on a night out with friends, the odds are pretty good you’re enjoying something another Michigan family has dedicated their lives to.”
Since March 22 MDARD spokeswoman Jeanne Hausler said the department has been promoting the magazine at the state’s Welcome Centers and that advertising for the publication has been going well. People who’ve been featured in the past have helped pay for the magazine,but current stories aren’t linked to advertising. Although MDARD won’t send out hard copies of the magazine to individuals, it will do that for groups that want to distribute the magazine at events, free of charge.
According to Hausler, the relationship with the publisher of the magazine, Journal Communications, started after the department heard about it with respect to the publisher’s efforts in other states. People at MDARD decided it would be a good idea to try such a thing in Michigan.
Although Journal Communications, based in Tennessee, puts the magazine together and prints it, MDARD is responsible for the articles and helps edit the publication.
“So far it’s been great because we don’t have to spend any tax dollars on it, but we have this beautiful publication that can tell agriculture’s story,” Hausler said. “We’ve had a great relationship with Journal Communications so far. We started the relationship with the company about four years ago.”
Copies of the current edition of the magazine, as well as previous issues,can be viewed and downloaded for freefrom the internet by visiting www.farmflavor.com/michigan/michigan-agriculture-2017