US: Michigan agriculture director visits Marquette County

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell visited the KI Sawyer Hangar Expansion and Wastewater Treatment Projects, Peace Pie Company, Lakeshore Depot, Superior Culture, and Northern Michigan University Self Contained Sustainability Growing Center. Director McDowell continues to travel across the state meeting with food and agricultural businesses as they work to advance during Michigan’s economic recovery.

“The Upper Peninsula is not only my home, but is also home to many diverse agricultural opportunities,” said McDowell. “Governor Whitmer created the newly created Office of Rural Development to recognize what our rural communities, like Marquette, bring to Michigan’s economy. I believe in Michigan, especially the full potential of our rural areas, our food and agriculture businesses and in the Upper Peninsula.”

Lakeshore Depot seeks to provide an efficient outlet for customers to purchase local foods. Somewhat of a hybrid between a grocery store and farmer’s market, The Depot offers a diverse variety of food and agricultural products from many local producers, processors, and farmers. Lakeshore Depot’s goal is to provide a convenient and affordable outlet for those farmers and other local food producers to distribute their products to our community. All the products at Lakeshore Depot are sourced locally whenever possible and from Michigan, Wisconsin, and the Midwest region to supplement local offerings. The Depot hopes to catalyze an expansion of our local food system and encourage more farms and food processing businesses in the area.

Northern Michigan University (NMU) is leading the way when it comes to technology in terms of indoor growing. The university is home to a self-contained shipping container/growing center which was purchased by NMU through a $100,000 grant from MDARD to purchase a Freight Farms Greenery container, a self-contained shipping growing center. The container has vertical grow channels and a large capacity for growing. The container also has its own seeding station area, so students can complete all aspects of the growing cycle. 

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