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My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

SPARTA, Mich.—Fruit farmers whose crops were devastated because of the unusual spring weather in 2012 are now eligible for federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin taking applications Tuesday for Michigan farmers who lost their fruit crops due to the freeze.  The funding is available through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program,  which was authorized in this year’s Farm Bill.

 “After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

My Town Rockford: Sidewalk Sales return July 17-19

My Town Rockford: Sidewalk Sales return July 17-19

ROCKFORD, Mich.—The merchants on Squire Street Square are clearing out their shelves and clothing racks as the Rockford Sidewalk Sales return July 17.

Shoppers can expect bargains galore as merchants clear out their summer merchandise. 

Rockford Sidewalk Sales runs through Saturday, July 19.  The event is sponsored by the Heart of Rockford Business Association.

My Town: Construction on an upswing in Plainfield Township

My Town: Construction on an upswing in Plainfield Township

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Hammers and saws are busy once again in Plainfield Township, as home and business construction picks up with the improving economy.

“Plats of land that have been on hold for years are coming back to life this spring,” said Bill Fischer, community development director for Plainfield Township.  “Many of these plats already have the infrastructure built; subdivisions that have roads and utilities, water and sewer.  And now, finally, the builders are feeling confident in the market and moving forward with construction.”

From Jan. 1 through the month of April, construction crews worked on homes and businesses in the township totaling more than $5.5 million in value.  Fischer says the long winter delayed many building permit applications until late April, so that investment only reflected a few weeks of investments.

My Town: Entries wanted for Beer City Coaster Contest

My Town: Entries wanted for Beer City Coaster Contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—During this year’s ArtPrize, one artist’s masterpiece will be gracing the tables and bars at breweries throughout greater Grand Rapids.

This is the second year for the city-wide Beer City Coaster Contest, which is growing with the help of Experience Grand Rapids and Greater Grand Rapids Beer City breweries. 

“The Beer City Coaster Contest was an idea the leadership team of the SpringHill Suites North created in 2013 to celebrate the calibration of local breweries and the local art scene,” said Rachel Crowther, general manager of Pillar Hotel & Resorts Area. “The contest was a way for our hotel to create an art event, ‘ArtNight’, which showcased the original coaster artwork and celebrated the unique beer scene only found in Beer City USA.  After a successful contest and ArtNight in 2013, it was only fitting to see the contest grow and evolve in 2014 to a larger city wide contest.”

My Town Rockford: Hardware isn't just a man's world

My Town Rockford: Hardware isn't just a man's world

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- Rockford Ace Hardware on Northland Drive in Rockford will be holding its second annual Ladies Night on Thursday, May 29 from 6-9 p.m.

Manager Jennifer Rich says, "Hardware is not just a man's world and we'll prove it."

There will be local vendors, door prizes, food samples, demonstrations and craft projects as well as sales on various merchandise throughout the evening.

My Town: Kent County forms Agri-Business Community Work Group

My Town: Kent County forms Agri-Business Community Work Group

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The Kent County Board of Commissioners has formed a new group to help support, expand and attract agri-business to the county.

The Agri-Business Community Work Group is comprised of people from a range of agricultural, business and legislative backgrounds, located across the county.  Members include:

My Town: It must be summer - Rockford Farm Market opens Saturday!

My Town: It must be summer - Rockford Farm Market opens Saturday!

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- Voted "America's Favorite Farmers Market" in a nationwide online contest in 2011, the Rockford Farm Market returns for its 13th season this Saturday, May 10.

"I am so looking forward to this farm market season," said Kim McKay, Rockford city treasurer and farm market administrator. "After the hellacious winter we have all survived, I'm eager for the Rockford Farm Market to usher in what hopefully will be another glorious West Michigan summer. Rockford is proud its downtown market offers up a complete cornucopia of strictly Michigan farm and orchard produce and prepared foods."

Embraced by the greater Rockford community since its inception in 2001, the Rockford Market has evolved into a true destination farm market for "foodies" and epicureans alike from near and far.