Apr 29, 2016
Michigan Vegetable Council Fund announces 2016 grant

The Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) Fund has announced its 2016 research grant. This year’s grant of $9,100 will support research focused on improving fertility and weed management practices in snap beans. The grant will leverage additional funding from Michigan’s Project GREEEN.MVC_logo

Dan Brainard, from the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, is leading the project. Snap beans were grown on more than 19,000 acres in Michigan in 2015. New snap bean varieties and production practices with higher yield potential have been developed in recent years. Fertility requirements for these varieties need to be better understood. In addition, weed management practices, both with herbicides and mechanical cultivation, will be researched as part of this project.

The MVC Fund is an endowed fund held at the Fremont Area Community Foundation. The fund was started by MVC in 2003 for the purpose of supporting research and education beneficial to Michigan vegetable growers. Including this year’s research funding, grants totaling $65,837 have been made from the MVC Fund since 2008, when the first grant was issued.

“We’re pleased the MVC Fund has reached a level that allows us to use it to support research and grower education programs,” said MVC President Joe Pirrone.

From an initial investment of $50,000 made by MVC in 2003, the fund balance has increased to more than $328,000 through gifts from individuals and businesses, additional contributions by the council, matching contributions by the Fremont Area Community Foundation for memorial gifts and investment returns.

Combined with the grant from the MVC Fund, the Michigan Vegetable Council made grants totaling $42,100 during the past year to support vegetable crop research and Extension. Current operating funds were used for the balance of the grants. In addition, the council received funding of $89,253 from USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program to support other vegetable research projects.

MVC acknowledges the following individuals and businesses that made contributions to the fund in 2015:

Gifts of $500 or more: Ken and Brenda Nye.

Gifts of $250 to $499: John and Marijo Bakker; Joe Pirrone; Dave and Sue Smith.

Other gifts of $25 or more: John Dart; Fertile Valley Gardens (Fertile, Iowa); Frank’s Crop Watch (Hemlock, Michigan); Scott Greiner; Dan Hill; Barbara Radewald; Bill Steenwyk.

Many of the contributions were given in memory of family members or others important to the industry. In 2015, gifts were received in memory of Jordan Evans, David Feenstra, Ruby Nye, Joey Pirrone, Frank Smith Jr. and George Wuszke. The Fremont Area Community Foundation matches all memorial gifts up to $500 per donor per year. The foundation has contributed a total of $41,488 to the MVC Fund through its memorial gift matching program.

MVC has matched all gifts made to the fund since its inception. For more information on making a contribution, call 734-848-8899, or email [email protected]. Contributions are deductible on federal taxes.

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