Michigan is launching an effort to promote culinary tourism and encourage local offerings on restaurant menus.
Michigan Department of Agriculture Director Don Koivisto announced the planned push earlier this month. He also hopes the program will help increase sales and profitability for Michigan's specialty crop producers.
The state Department of Agriculture will help develop the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance in partnership with the Michigan Restaurant Association and Travel Michigan, a unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
The project is funded by a $24,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with matching funds provided by MDA's Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Koivisto also is chairman of the council.