McDonald’s, Peterson Farms recognized for commitment to agricultur

Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, on Thursday honored Peterson Farms, of Oceana County, and McDonald’s USA for serving more than 2 billion sliced apple packages across the country. Pictured with Hansen are Jason Richards, owner/operator, of Manistee; Tony D’Anna, owner/operator, of Frankenmuth; Don Williams, McDonald’s Corp. director of global government and public affairs; Wally Gonzalez, owner/operator, of Traverse City; Suzanne Sudek, McDonald’s Michigan region marketing supervisor; Jennifer Lovin, McDonald’s Michigan region communications manager; Matthew Schultz, owner operator, of Whitehall; Lori Schulz, owner/operator, of Macomb; Sarah Schlukebir, vice president of sales and marketing for Peterson Farms; Earl Peterson, owner and CEO of Peterson Farms. (Courtesy photo)

Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, on Thursday honored Peterson Farms, of Oceana County, and McDonald’s USA for serving more than 2 billion sliced apple packages across the country. Pictured with Hansen are Jason Richards, owner/operator, of Manistee; Tony D’Anna, owner/operator, of Frankenmuth; Don Williams, McDonald’s Corp. director of global government and public affairs; Wally Gonzalez, owner/operator, of Traverse City; Suzanne Sudek, McDonald’s Michigan region marketing supervisor; Jennifer Lovin, McDonald’s Michigan region communications manager; Matthew Schultz, owner operator, of Whitehall; Lori Schulz, owner/operator, of Macomb; Sarah Schlukebir, vice president of sales and marketing for Peterson Farms; Earl Peterson, owner and CEO of Peterson Farms. (Courtesy photo)

LANSING — Michigan McDonald’s restaurant owner-operators and the president of the state’s largest private fruit processor were honored Thursday by the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives for offering healthy food options for children, curtailing childhood obesity and contributing to Michigan’s strong agricultural economy.

Owner-operators Tony D’Anna, of Frankenmuth, Wally Gonzalez, of Traverse City, Jason Richards, of Manistee, Matthew Schulz, of Whitehall, Lori Schulz, of Macomb and Mt. Clemens, and Earl Peterson, of Peterson Farms in Shelby, were recognized with a proclamation, signed by state Sen. Geoff Hansen, of Hart.

In 2004, McDonald’s was the first national restaurant chain to offer apple slice packages as a Happy Meal option.

In 12 years, McDonald’s has served 2 billion packages and consumption of apple slices has increased by 355 percent. Peterson Farms, which employs more than 800 people, is one of six suppliers providing fresh cut apples to McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.

In 2014, McDonald’s purchased more than $164 million in agricultural products from Michigan, including 19 million pounds of apples, 42 million pounds of cucumbers, 2 million pounds of blueberries, 53,000 pounds of cherries, 94 million dozen eggs and 8 million gallons of milk.

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