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Governor Whitmer Announces Grants up to $200k for Innovative Farming Solutions Designed to Address Challenges Facing Rural Michigan

Proposals due no later than 3 p.m., October 27, 2022

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is now accepting applications for a new Farm Innovation Grant Program. These grants are designed to help develop and support innovative solutions to real, immediate, and future problems facing Michigan’s food and agricultural industry.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is known nationally for its innovation and modernization,” said Governor Whitmer. “This new grant program will empower entrepreneurs and businesses who are conceptualizing and creating innovative solutions to help Michigan farmers thrive. I will work with anyone to grow Michigan’s economy, and I was proud to sign a bipartisan budget last week that that invested in food and agriculture economic development and provided funding for the Office of Rural Development. The agricultural industry is integral to Michigan’s growth, and the Farm Innovation Grant will ensure that it continues to grow.”

"At MDARD, we're constantly working to develop programs to bolster our food and agriculture sectors across Michigan while encouraging them to innovate and modernize," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "The new Farm Innovation Grant Program is an excellent example of how we continue to develop state-of-the-art solutions to our industry's immediate and future needs. The success and sustainability of our food and agricultural industry is key to moving Michigan forward."

The maximum grant award eligible is $200,000 per proposal. The farm innovation grant proposals will be evaluated through a competitive selection process. Applicants will be asked to outline how the project will impact and produce measurable innovation outcomes for Michigan’s food and agriculture industry.

MDARD is seeking proposals to develop innovative solutions for farm, agriculture processing, and supply chain problems facing the state’s food and agricultural industry in the following priority areas:

  • Climate Smart Practices - New innovative technologies that will work to mitigate the effects of climate change to Michigan commodities and lead to climate resiliency for the industry.
  • Supply Chain Resiliency - Projects that strengthen and expand Michigan's food supply chain including equipment, new technology, and research.
  • Food Processing and Farm Production Automation - New innovative research and technology to assist with automation where acquiring workforce to fill positions is a challenge.
  • Rural Resiliency - Projects that strengthen the ability for rural communities to support farm and food processing.
  • Other - Applicant will be asked to provide a description of the project funding area if it does not fit into a prior category.

Those interested in applying should visit Michigan.gov/MDARDGrants to view the application and grant guidelines. Other communications concerning this Request for Proposals should be sent to MDA-Grants@Michigan.gov. Proposals must be received via email at MDA-Grants@Michigan.gov no later than 3:00 p.m. (EST) on October 27, 2022. Proposals received after 3:00 p.m. will not be considered.

For more information about MDARD’s grant programs, visit Michigan.gov/MDARDGrants.

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