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MDARD awards grants to promote sustainability of land-based industries

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Sparta’s Riveridge Produce Marketing, Incorporated received one such grants, allowing them to expand

Riveridge Produce Marketing, Incorporated is an apple grower, shipper, and marketer headquartered in Sparta. The company was founded over 30 years ago by three partners who shared backgrounds in the Michigan produce and grocery industry.

In 2017, Riveridge constructed a new facility in Grant for producing and bottling ciders.

Now, thanks to a Rural Development Fund Grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, that facility has added a $100,000 expansion.

Operations Manager Justin Finkler explains.

“So we’ve put an addition onto our current cider plant for the cherry packing, so we added a little over 12,000 square foot.”

The new facility, which just completed construction, will provide a home for Michigan growers to send their sweet cherries for distribution.

“The new equipment that we’re putting in here is new technology for grading fresh-market sweet cherries, but we’ve got a lot of new production that we’ve planted on the cherry side, so it’ll allow us to be able to compete with our western competitors as far as packing a high-grade, quality cherry.”

Thanks to the expansion, Riveridge expects to add jobs to their operation as well as expand the hours for some of their current employees.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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