Michigan guide available to help farmers promote products

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LANSING – Southwest Michigan farmers or specialty food business owners who are looking to grow their business or find new markets for their produce should download a free guide full on valuable tips and information, said Sen. John Proos.

“Southwest Michigan’s thriving agricultural community provides countless opportunities for small businesses and supports thousands of families and workers,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The wide variety of goods and products produced by our local farmers and agribusinesses is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of Southwest Michigan. I want to make everyone aware of this free guide because it can help our growers and entrepreneurs succeed in starting a business and hopefully creating new jobs.”

The booklet “Growing Michigan’s Future: A Guide to Marketing Your Michigan Food and Agriculture Products” contains helpful information for farmers and food processors on how to promote their products as well as understand state regulatory requirements.

“This guide can be especially helpful for Michigan’s booming cottage and specialty foods businesses,” Proos said. “The booklet includes advice on how to get your business started, tips on how to promote and sell your goods, and information on state food safety regulations. It is a valuable resource that is available to download at no cost.”

The cottage foods law, sponsored by Proos and passed in 2010, encourages family farm businesses and entrepreneurship in the food and agricultural industries and allows venders at roadside stands and farmers markets to legally sell goods produced in their own homes.

The guide is offered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and may be downloaded at: www.michigan.gov/mdamarketingguide.

The website also contains direct links to several sites containing additional information on selling foods at farmers’ markets, product labeling, processing and much more.

Residents may locate a Southwest Michigan farmers market near them at: www.swmichiganfun.com/attractions/farmers-markets.

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”

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