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MDARD Announces Grant Opportunity for Rural Areas

Proposals due by 3 p.m. (EST) on November 18, 2021

For immediate release: October 1, 2021

LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is offering a competitive grant program to promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure benefiting rural communities in Michigan.     

"Investing and supporting our rural communities is a hallmark of MDARD," said Director Gary McDowell. "The Administration is committed to growing our rural economy and these grants are an important step in tackling the unique challenges facing our rural communities."

The Rural Development Fund grants are available for projects addressing expansion and sustainability of land-based industries; worker training related to land-based industries; and energy, transportation, housing, communications, water, and wastewater infrastructure to benefit rural communities and micropolitan statistical areas (defined by the U.S. Department of Management and Budget as an area/county with at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 population). Specific projects for consideration may include projects that lead to the expansion and location of meat processing facilities, if in an eligible area.

Land-based industries include food and agriculture; forestry; mining; oil and gas production; and tourism. Eligible counties include those with a population no greater than 70,000 residents or micropolitan statistical areas. For a complete list of eligible counties, visit

The proposals will be evaluated through a competitive process. The maximum limit on project grant fund requests is $100,000. The total allotment of funding for the current year is approximately $1.74 million. All proposals require at least a 30 percent cash match. Applicants for grant funds will be asked to describe how the project will impact and produce measurable outcomes for rural communities.

Those interested in applying for the grant program should visit to view the application and program guidelines. All applicants are required to submit three letters of support.

MDARD will be hosting an informational webinar on this grant opportunity on Tuesday, October 19 at 11 a.m. (EST). More information on the webinar can be found on the website.

Any additional communications concerning this Request for Proposal should be sent to Proposals must be received at the email above no later than 3 p.m. (EST) on November 18, 2021. Proposals received after 3 p.m. (EST) will not be considered.

The Rural Development Fund grants are funded by the Nonferrous Metallic Minerals Extraction Severance Tax. The Rural Development Fund was created under PA 411 of 2012. Revenue from the severance tax is in accordance with PA 410 of 2012.


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