The Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit, hosted by Pure Michigan Business Connect, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and The Right Place, Inc. brought together agricultural growers, processors, grocers and institutional buyers for a business matchmaking event.
“We’re confident that the partnerships developed at this summit will continue to grow, resulting in more and better business opportunities around the state,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “The networking and connections made today will lead to increased economic development and job creation with Michigan’s food and agriculture industry.”
“The Pure Michigan Business Connect program is an innovative way for government to help Michigan businesses find new opportunities through market-based solutions, and we commend MDARD for its commitment to our continued partnership,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “This supplier summit, with more than 200 procurement needs, will mean even more growth opportunities for Michigan businesses.”
The summit, held in Grand Rapids, is a long-term commitment by both MDARD and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to assist in supply chain connectivity and create market access to help grow the food processing industry and create jobs in Michigan.
Speakers included Dr. Lowell Catlett, Regent’s Professor/Dean and Chief Administrative Officer at New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Jamie Clover Adams, director, MDARD; and Steve Arwood, president and CEO, MEDC.
Nearly 500 food and agriculture suppliers, growers, and processors from around the state were in attendance. The attendees met with buyers from Gordon Foods, Kroger, Lipari, Meijer, SpartanNash, Whole Foods and other large Michigan companies.
Companies also had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions to learn more about exporting their products, talent and access to capital.
Launched in 2011, Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources. Companies can find new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business-to-business network, and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains.