An agricultural company is planning to construct a $1.2-million storage facility in the region.
Hartford Farm Supply, also known as Paw Paw River Produce, has been awarded a $75,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Commission of Agriculture & Rural Development to build a 13,440-square-foot facility in Hartford to store apples that are grown in southwest Michigan and the Traverse City area.
The funds were provided by the state’s Food and Agricultural Investment Program.
The project is expected to be completed prior to the fall.
The facility will be used to increase storage space for eight to 10 growers, allow for additional days for packaging and to keep Michigan apples on the retail shelves longer.
The project will also reduce the need for apple imports, prevent apples from leaving the state for storage and expand the footprint for Michigan growers.
“Southwest Michigan has a shortage of controlled atmosphere storage, so this project will be a great start in helping bridge the gap between growers and the packing house,” said Jason Meachum, owner and manager, Hartford Farm Supply.
“From the packing house perspective, more controlled atmosphere storage equates to more packing days, which leads to more opportunities for workers.”