Council Appointments, Specialty Crop Block Grant, Agritourism, and Cider Con

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January 2022


Appointments to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced appointments to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council.

H. Richard Anderson, of Thompsonville, is a partner and co-founder of Iron Fish Distillery. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Michigan University. Mr. Anderson is reappointed to represent small distillers for a term commencing January 7, 2022, and expiring September 30, 2024.

Michael Beck, of Saint Johns, is the president of Uncle John's Cider Mill. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Facilities Management from Ferris State University. Mr. Beck is reappointed to represent wine makers that primarily manufacture cider for a term commencing January 7, 2022, and expiring September 30, 2024.

Sean Black, of Grand Rapids, is the director of merchandising for alcohol for Meijer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Supply Management from Western Michigan University. Mr. Black is appointed to represent retail food establishments that hold a specifically designated merchant license and sell Michigan wines or beer, for a term commencing January 7, 2022, and expiring September 30, 2022. He succeeds Erin Walton who has resigned.

Jessica L. Youngblood, of Ray, is the owner and vineyard manager for Youngblood Vineyard. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Walla Walla University. Mrs. Youngblood is appointed to represent wine makers for a term commencing January 7, 2022, and expiring September 30, 2024. She succeeds Brian Lesperance whose term expired September 30, 2021.

The Council would like to thank Brian Lesperance and Erin Walton for their service to the Michigan Craft Beverage Council and the Council’s Promotion Committee.

View information about the Council members at

Specialty Crop Block Grant Now Open

Deadline to apply is February 24, 2022

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The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program awards funds to projects to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops, which include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). The 2022 Grant Cycle Request for Proposals is open until February 24, 2022.

View 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Overview, Allowable and Unallowable Costs, 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Application, and Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Eligible Commodities.

Michigan Agritourism Association

Michigan wine glasses

Did you know the Michigan Agritourism Association represents many craft beverage businesses in the state? Members of the organization receive professional support, including problem solving from experts on zoning, marketing, liability, and more.

The association is currently putting together their annual agritourism directory, Michigan Farm Fun. To learn more about the organization and how to be involved, visit their website or contact Janice Benson at 616-952-1151.

Cider Con 2022

Cider Con

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce CiderCon® 2022 will take place in Richmond, Virginia from February 1-4, 2022. With tours, tastings, educational workshops, demos and more, CiderCon’s return to an in-person event is bound to be one of the most energetic CiderCons to date.

A full range of educational sessions will fall under several different tracks including Sales & Distribution, Legal & Compliance, Better Business, Marketing & Trends, Flavor & Terroir, Cidermaking, Apples & Orcharding, and History.

The extensive trade show will feature many beloved vendors excited for the return of CiderCon® in person and will welcome several first-time vendors who are eager to join the cider community and meet conference attendees. The ACA has developed Health & Safety Guidelines to ensure that all attendees can participate with as little risk as possible.

Learn more and register for Cider Con.

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Contact the Michigan Craft Beverage Council:

Michigan Craft Beverage Council
PO Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909


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