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Office of Rural Development (ORD)

Overview

In January 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the Office of Rural Development within MDARD via Executive Directive 2022-01 to focus on the strategic needs of rural Michigan, including economic and workforce development, infrastructure, public health, and environmental sustainability. 

The Office of Rural Development has the following responsibilities, among others:

  • Collaborate with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and other stakeholders on rural economic development;
  • Collaborate with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to facilitate rural affordable housing development;
  • Promote sustainability, environmental preservation, and green energy development;
  • Address the ramifications of population and demographic trends in rural Michigan;
  • Analyze and provide guidance on education-related issues affecting rural communities;
  • Collaborate with the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office to facilitate expansion of high-speed internet connections in rural communities; and,
  • Coordinate with tribal leaders in this state on issues facing rural Michigan. 

Latest News

PHOTO RELEASE: MDARD Director Gary McDowell & Deputy Director of Office of Rural Development Sarah Lucas Hold Roundtable to Discuss Rural Priorities (5/11/22)

MDARD Director Gary McDowell Selects Sarah Lucas as Deputy of the Newly Created Office of Rural Development (3/15/22)

Contact Information

If you’re looking to contact the Office of Rural Development, please email Sarah Lucas at LucasS5@Michigan.gov

Other Rural Development Resources

MDARD Grant and Funding Opportunities

Michigan Food and Agriculture Jobs and Careers

Federal Information and Resources