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My Town: Michigan fruit growers encouraged to complete USDA Fruit Acreage Inventory

My Town: Michigan fruit growers encouraged to complete USDA Fruit Acreage Inventory

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Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams encouraged the state's fruit growers to complete the 2014 Fruit Acreage Inventory being conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

My Town Kalamazoo: Experience downtown with Girlfriends Getaway Feb. 28

My Town Kalamazoo: Experience downtown with Girlfriends Getaway Feb. 28

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More than 15 businesses in downtown Kalamazoo are coming together to offer a day out on the town for the ladies.

The second year event will take place on Saturday, February 28 with a variety of activities going on all day starting at 10 a.m. There’s something for everyone from mixology and wine pairing classes, to health and beauty options including yoga, an into to pilates and barre, and essential oil making. For those interested in crafting, there’s even an opportunity to "make your own tote bag."

"We wanted to create an experience downtown, for women to explore Kalamazoo and have a whole day of fun with their girlfriends," said Dana Schmitt from the Downtown Kalamazoo Retail & Restaurant Association.

My Town: Earth Fare now open in Portage

My Town: Earth Fare now open in Portage

PORTAGE, Mich.--  Shoppers looking for healthy food now have a new option in Portage.

Earth Fare welcomed its first West Michigan customers Wednesday morning. The new store offers fresh meats and dairy that are free of antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones.  The store also sells foods that are free of artificial and trans fats,  high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, bleached and bromated flour artificial flavors and artificial colors. Earth Fare says it offers more organic produce than any other store.

The new store is located at 5070 S. Westnedge Ave in Portage, Michigan. Sign-up for e-mail offers at EarthFare.com/Westnedge.

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

My Town: Local military family honored by Eckrich and country music star Randy Houser

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Thanks to Eckrich, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage and savory deli meats, James Jackson and his family were honored by chart-topping, platinum-selling country music star Randy Houser Tuesday night at his performance at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. as part of Luke Bryan's That's My Kind of Night Tour. 

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

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The Meijer Simply Give program – held three times a year – generated nearly $6 million in 2014 for food pantries throughout the Midwest, bringing the program’s overall donation total to nearly $14 million since it began in November 2008.

The retailer’s most recent campaign, which ended in January, was the most successful holiday campaign in the program’s history, resulting in a total of more than $1.8 million for hungry families.

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

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Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams today announced new opportunities for Michigan businesses thanks to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ag Marketing Services. The program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops. Grant proposals must be received by MDARD no later than 3 p.m. on March 26, 2015 by submitting them to MDA-grants@Michigan.gov.

Steve Loftis Recieves Award for Distinguished Service

Steve Loftis Recieves Award for Distinguished Service

---NEWS RELEASE---

The Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) is pleased to announce that Steve Loftis of Grand Haven has received the MRA Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the Association. He was bestowed the honor at the MRA's annual Chairman's Dinner, held this year in Kalamazoo on January 25, 2015.

 

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional and continuing leadership, vision, and commitment to Michigan’s foodservice industry. Previous Distinguished Service Award winners select a new winner each year from submitted nominations.

 

Loftis is owner of Harbor Restaurants, which owns and operates Snug Harbor, Dee-Lite Bar & Grill, Theatre Bar, Jelly’s, and the Grand Seafood & Oyster Bar – all located in Grand Haven. He also owns Creative Advantage, a hospitality training and consulting firm.