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Office of Rural Development (ORD)


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:

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

Other Rural Development Resources

MDARD Grant and Funding Opportunities

Michigan Food and Agriculture Jobs and Careers

Federal Information and Resources