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Michigan Apple Committee receives Specialty Crop Block grants

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development named the Michigan Apple Committee as a recipient of two grants from the 2022 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. In total, MAC will receive $200,000 dedicated to marketing efforts focused on consumer and retail audiences.

MAC will receive $125,000 for the project titled “Social Media Marketing to Raise Brand Awareness of Michigan Apples,” which is a consumer brand awareness campaign using social media marketing tactics to educate consumers and increase demand for Michigan Apples. The project aims to build engagement with consumers to drive a deeper connection to the brand, resulting in increased apple movement in the retail marketplace. The second project, funded for $75,000, is “Trade Advertising and Retail Outreach for Marketing Michigan Apples,” which aims to increase sales of Michigan Apples by engaging with retail partners through targeted outreach, resources and ads in trade publications.

“Our mission is to enhance the reputation of Michigan Apples, improve their share of sales in target markets and aid the profitability and sustainability of Michigan’s apple industry,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “These grants allow us to engage with two important audiences with effective tactics and measurable outcomes.”

The Specialty Crop Block Grant program offers federal funding (H.R. 133 stimulus) to state departments of agriculture to support the specialty crop industry and the impacts on the food system due to COVID-19.

“We are fortunate to have had programs funded through the Specialty Crop Block program for the past decade,” said Smith. “It allows us to put impactful programs in place without spending grower dollars. In this way those dollars can be directed toward other efforts within our budget to increase consumption of Michigan apples.”     

Past MAC SCBG-funded projects have focused on social media, consumer and trade print advertising, and retailer engagement. Each project’s results, analytics and learnings are used to inform future marketing strategies and campaign planning.

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