Michigan State University conference participants drive winery development

Participants in the 2009 Michigan State University Winery Development Conference are starting 16 Michigan wineries and creating 64 new jobs.

When Michigan State University staff andpartners began planning a comprehensive conference for aspiring winery owners, they thought one new winery would constitute a success.  The 2009 conference, now two years hence, has aided the 87 participants toward the start-up of three wineries, with another 13 in process, according to a follow-up survey of 33 percent of participants.

Skill and knowledge change, along with further engagement and learning, helped conference participants turn their business ideas into reality. Those actively involved in starting a winery have developed business plans, established legal business structures and made equipment and real estate purchases. They have also connected with business resource people such as consultants, lenders and successful winery operators who have acted as mentors.

 By 2013 these winery owners will create 64 jobs and invest $4.375 million. This level of activity is expected to generate 121 new jobs and $9.5 million in total economic impact.

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