MABA launches online mapping tool to grow state’s ag sector

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The Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) announced the launch of its new "Agricultural Mapping Tool" at an event with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams and more than 75 Michigan agriculture leaders. The web-based tool was developed in partnership with MDARD through a Strategic Growth Initiative Grant.

"The mapping tool is another illustration of the state's partnership with the private sector to create an environment for new opportunities, which means more and better jobs for Michigan families," said Lt. Governor Calley. "Expanding global, domestic, and local food demand is creating growth in the food and agriculture sector and the mapping tool will aid those companies looking to invest in Michigan and help take advantage of the increasing demand."

The publicly available tool gives Michigan agribusinesses access to key information that will guide strategic business decisions, allow agriculture to seize new opportunities for economic growth, and provide guidance in developing priority areas for agricultural expansion in response to new markets, climate change and other factors.

"We're proud of the work the Michigan Agri-Business Association has done to create this innovative new tool as a partner in the Strategic Growth Initiative Grant Program," said MDARD Director Clover Adams. "This project will help build new economic opportunities for Michigan's agriculture sector, drive investment in our state's food and agriculture industry and create jobs here in Michigan."

The interactive, web-based tool allows users to overlay a combination of historical and real-time dynamic data sets, including frost-free days, the location of high-capacity wells, soil types, wind speed, topography, infrastructure and more.

"This new tool will make an incredible amount of data more accessible to folks who can use it to grow Michigan's agriculture industry, strengthen rural Michigan communities and create sound policy for the future," said Jim Byrum, president of MABA. "By combining all of this data in single place, the tool will reduce the time and cost necessary for businesses and policymakers to gather information and plan for the future.

It will help agriculture take advantage of market opportunity and further contribute to our state's economy. And as we work to meet emerging challenges in agriculture, from adapting to climate change impacts to creating new solutions for water quality and soil health, this tool will provide yet another critical resource."

The tool is publicly available at no charge online at www.miagbiz.org.


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