A new nonprofit group called West Central Michigan Horticultural Research (WCMHR) is planning to build a new tree fruit research center in Michigan and is seeking help with funding the project.

The new facility will be located in northern Oceana County, and will include a training room, conference room, laboratory and fabrication facility. The group has already raised funds to purchase a 40 acre parcel with existing orchards that neighbors an asparagus research farm, the group said in a news release.

The goal is to partner with the Michigan asparagus industry and Michigan State University on the operations. Research there will focus on the unique soil and microclimates in Michigan’s Oceana, Mason and Newaygo counties.

The effort is led and funded by local growers and processors, with potential funding assistance from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. But the group is seeking additional funding partners for the center. For more information, call Patricia Parsons at 231-861-6333, ext. 294, or email pparsons@petersonfarmsinc.com.