By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Managing bees and saving cucumbers from disease are just two of the topics being studied in recent specialty crop grants. This October in Michigan the federal government awarded grants to a dozen food and agriculture organizations for projects that include improving fruit production, promoting cleaner soil and studying crop pollination. The $1.3 million is divided among 12 recipients, including the Michigan Vegetable Council in Erie, Michigan Farm Bureau in Lansing, Lakeshore Environmental Inc. in Grand Haven and Michigan State University in East Lansing. These organizations and their projects were selected by the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to receive the federal grants. The department is in the process of developing an additional regional state grant program to further support such organizations and their food and agricultural research, said Jamie Clover Adams, the department director.