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We care about our farmers and our food safety. The list below is full of national and statewide information aimed at educating our farmers about the regulations placed on growing food in this country and the great state of Michigan.


GAP stands for “Good Agricultural Practices.” The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Specialty Crops Inspection Division (SCI) performs GAP audits, which are voluntary, third-party services that verify that farms are following industry-recognized food safety practices and recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The GroupGAP Program enables growers to collectively address food safety concerns and become certified as a group.  The program’s systematic approach to food safety includes several components that will increase retailers’ confidence in growers’ products. Small growers in the GroupGAP program develop robust food safety systems. This includes working with food hubs and other grower groups to pool their resources to establish food safety best practices, lead food safety trainings, develop quality management systems, and pay for certification costs. In addition to regular audits from USDA inspectors, the groups also performed their own internal food safety inspections of their growers.

Free Consultation & Mentoring Services
Allen Market Place is excited to offer mid-Michigan farmers & food producers access to free services in the following topics: Business Planning, Business Management, Business Marketing, Food Safety, Product Innovation.

Apply to receive free services & consultations from the following experts:

  • Tom Donaldson, Regional Director of Michigan Small Business Development Center at Lansing Community College. Tom is a seasoned business executive with broad knowledge of all aspects of small business management including marketing, operations, accounting, and finance.
  • Phil Tocco, food safety educator for MSU Extension in Jackson County. Phil is able to provide resources directly to farms developing food safety programs, especially hazard analysis, farm safety plans, pre-GAP consultation, post-harvest handling, and other topics.
  • MSU Product Center. Innovation Counselors connect entrepreneurs with MSU Product Center’s wide range of offerings. A great opportunity for value-added producers with packaging/labeling, food safety, product development, nutrition analysis, or other needs. Many of these resources are free, and grant funds can be used to access the range of paid services offered.
  • Apply here!

Michigan Good Food Fund is a new public-private partnership loan and grant fund created to finance healthy food production, distribution, processing, and retail projects that benefit under served communities throughout Michigan. Apply for financial & business assistance.

Hoophouses for Health is a program designed to increase access to Good Food for vulnerable families while at the same time expanding Good Food infrastructure and season extension capacity of Michigan farmers. Participating farmers accept vouchers for produce as a means to “repay” hoophouse loans they have received through the program.

Wholesale Standards Information:

USDA Quality Standards

Food Safety Information:

MDARD New Business Packet

Farm Production Trainings:

MSU Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series

Farmer Veteran Coalition

USDA New Farmers

MIFMA Training Videos, Improving Specialty Crop Production

Business & Financial Planning Information:

A Summary Of Pricing Strategies

Know your Costs & Price for Profit

One Page Business Plan (Business plan template)

Accessing Capital for Farms

Farm Start’s CSA Cash-Flow Budget – Example

Sample Business Plan for a Diversified Vegetable Farm