The Michigan Agri-Business Association has given the 2011 Green Agri-Business Designation to 16 Michigan businesses and organizations for outstanding efforts to protect the natural resources, conserve energy and reduce their impact on Michigan's water, land and air.
The businesses were recognized for deploying and implementing many cutting edge green programs, including aggressive recycling programs to reduce waste and reuse materials; investing in renewable bio-based fuels and energy efficient vehicles and equipment; promoting site-specific agronomy technology and variable rate fertilizer application; recycling and reusing water; developing sustainable, non-toxic products; and deploying energy efficient electric and heating/cooling and other equipment.
MABA's Green Agri-Business Designation was given to:
Michigan Agricultural Commodities (MAC), a second-generation family business based in Lansing that is Michigan's largest grain handler with eight elevators, 36 million bushels of storage and 110 employees at facilities across the state.
Working Bugs, a bio-manufacturing company in East Lansing that develops and creates new products, from food and fuel to green bio-based chemical products.
Great Lakes Hybrids is Michigan's only hybrid corn research program wholly owned by farmers and seedsmen. The Ovid company focuses on breeding new, more productive types of corn. With more than 145 breeding stations, GLH develops more than 60,000 hybrids every year. The company employs a full-time staff of more than 50 people.
Okemos-based Orion Industrial manufactures synthetic lubricants for industrial and internal combustion engine applications. These products improve lubricant performance and productivity, and help prolong the life of equipment.
The Michigan Crop Improvement Association is a Lansing-based nonprofit association geared toward the unbiased promotion of the latest in seed science and techniques.
Carbon Green Bioenergy, a Lake Odessa-based company that promotes biofuels, biomass and renewable energy and helps customers maximize production and deployment of these energy sources. The company employs more than 45 people.
Herbruck Poultry in Saranac, Michigan's largest egg producer, with about 5.5. million hens. The four-generation business was formed in 1958, and has made many recent investments, including building a new $13-million facility and adding 40 new jobs.
King Milling Co. in Lowell, is a family owned producer of wheat and flour products since 1890. King Milling is one of only six flour mills in Michigan and has continuously increased production by using the latest technologies and most effective refining strategies.
Moline Cooperative Milling Co., based in Moline in Allegan County.
Battle Creek Farm Bureau Association, owned by about 200 local farmers and has been in operation since 1920.
Harvey's Agricultural Solutions in Carson City, an independent agricultural supplier that has been serving customers with a wide range of agronomy needs for more than 60 years. Harvey's history goes back to 1860, with the construction of a mill that remains today one of the oldest structures in Carson City. Today, the company serves customers in 33 counties and employs more than 50 people.
Pure Aqua Tech in Ithaca provides ways to increase access to drinking water while reducing the need for bottled water.
Star of the West, a 141-year-old company based in Frankenmuth, is the nation's 14th largest miller, providing flour and other grain products to more than 150 national food processors and producers, including Kellogg Co., Post Cereals, Nabisco and Pepperidge Farms. The staple of its business, soft white wheat, is grown in only a few areas in the country, including the Thumb and Saginaw Valley. The company employs more than 200 people and recently invested more than $8 million in new equipment and upgrades.
POET Biorefining produces 53 million gallons of ethanol annually and is the 14th ethanol plant built by the POET, which began building ethanol plants in 1983. POET Biorefining in Caro consumes nearly 16 million bushels of corn from the region and provides not only an environmentally friendly fuel, but also dried distillers grain (DDGs), a valuable high quality livestock feed for local, regional and national markets. POET's Caro facility has the lowest water use rate of all POET facilities and among the lowest in the nation.
Crop Production Services, with 11 locations statewide, is a major full-service provider of agricultural products and services. CPS employs more than 86 people at facilities in: Ubly, Sandusky and Brown City in the Thumb region; Munger, Linwood and Henderson in the Flint-Bay-Saginaw region; Bear Lake near Manistee; St. Johns and Breckenridge in central Michigan; and Greenville, Lake Odessa and Sparta in West Michigan.
Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business with 60 years of service to the agricultural and transportation industries. Founded in 1950 by Robert Meeuwsen as Meeuwsen Produce and Grain, it was reorganized in 1970 as Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. to provide customers with a wider variety of agricultural services. Over 200 employees, including 12 Meeuwsen family members, currently work at ZFS. With energy and the environment in mind, ZFS' new administration building was designed to meet silver certification for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
"The Michigan Agri-Business Association wants to shine a light on the many agricultural businesses that are doing the right thing, keeping Michigan's natural resources strong and healthy," says MABA President Jim Byrum. "Conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency are a way of life for these Michigan businesses, saving both money and resources. These businesses are good for both our industry and Michigan's future, and we want to highlight their efforts."
The inaugural MABA Green Agri-Business Designation recognizes a Michigan agricultural or bio-based business for excellence in agri-business and a commitment to environmental responsibility.