Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

Meet the NW Michigan Agriculture Business Team

Wendy Wieland
Innovative Counselor
MSU Extension/Product Center

– Product development
– Planning, research, feasibility
– Food safety, packaging, labeling
– Cooperative development


Annie Olds
MI-SBDC Regional Director – Northwest
Certified Small Business Consultant

– growth strategy planning
– new business start-ups
– financing preparedness
– business plan development
– financial analysis & cash flow planning
– marketing & market research
– transition planning
– training and development


Susan Cocciarelli
Agriculture & Food System Sector Alliance
N- Sect
or development
– Education & training
– Networking & advocating
– Farm production & distribution

Networks Northwest logo




Regional Agriculture Business Services Partnership

Susan Cocciarelli, Elaine Wood, Wendy Wieland, Annie Shetler & Brenda Rau.

Farmers and other agriculture related businesses can access a variety of assistance programs through the new Northwest Michigan Regional Agriculture Business Services Partnership. The partnership brings together the services of an MSU Extension agriculture innovation counselor, a MI-SBTDC agriculture business counselor, and the Northwest Michigan Agriculture and Food System Sector Alliance to enhance services to Ag related businesses such as product development, marketing, business plans, financing, education and training, and farm production and distribution.

Spearheaded by the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, the Regional Agriculture Business Services Partnership brought six different organizations together to leverage resources.  Included in the effort are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG), Michigan State University Extension, MSU Product Center, and the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC). The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) provided leadership to form this partnership and identify funding sources. Funding for the partnership is being provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MSU Extension and the NW MI Council of Governments.

“This partnership continues MSU Extension’s proud history of supporting Michigan’s agriculture industry by helping entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value products in the agriculture, natural resources and bio-economy sectors,” said Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension District Coordinator and NLEA Board member.

“We’re thrilled with this new effort,” states Andy Hayes, NLEA President.  “In typical NW Michigan fashion, several organizations combined resources to offer much better services with a far broader reach than any individual organization could have provided on their own.”

For more information about the Ag Team and services for your situation, contact any member of the team: Wendy Wieland, Innovation Counselor, MSU Extension, 231-582-6482,; Annie Shetler, Ag Business Counselor, MI-SBTDC, 1-888-774-7988,; Susan Cocciarelli, Coordinator of the Agriculture and Food System Sector Alliance, NWMCOG, 231-929-5096,

MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources

The MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) was established in Spring, 2003 to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors. The Product Center serves to develop and commercialize high value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture and natural resource sectors and is the front door of MSU’s vast and varied technical expertise, research, outreach, and educational services through the ANR Innovation Counselor’s Network.

ANR Counselors are professionals from MSU and partnering organizations who are positioned around Michigan as your initial Center contact. They are educated to assess the developmental phase of your business/product, identify markets, innovate new products, help you make critical go, no-go decisions, and guide you from start-up to market.

When businesses, products or ideas are ready to move forward, an ANR Innovation Counselor connects clients to Client Services, which will pinpoint the necessary resources at MSU as well as the resources of state and federal agencies, and private companies, to move projects forward. Client Services works in conjunction with the Center’s Strategic Marketing Institute to develop the information base needed to support the inital screening and evaluation of concepts, products and businesses.

To learn more about the Center’s services, click here.

Useful Links and Resources

  • Michigan MarketMaker is an interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in Michigan, providing an important link between producers and consumers

Northern Michigan Farmers Markets

View Northern Michigan Farmers Markets in a larger map

The High Impact Venture Action Team

HI-VAT is a new partnership of the MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources in cooperation with MSU Extension, the MDARD, the MEDC and the Michigan Office of USDA-RD.

Food processing and agribusinesses within the state can access HI-VAT to help solve business expansion challenges and seek expansion opportunities.

To learn more click here


Core Partners

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