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MDARD’s Office of Rural Development Launches Second Request for Proposals for Funding to Help Communities Bring Shovel-ready Projects to Rural Michigan

Letters of intent must be submitted by 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2023

LANSING, Mich. –Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring announced the release of a second round of request for proposals competitive grants through the Office of Rural Development’s (ORD) Rural Readiness Grant Program (RRPG). This reimbursement grant program empowers community-specific solutions that build capacity and readiness in Michigan’s rural areas.

“MDARD and Governor Whitmer are committed to programs that assist in developing and supporting innovative solutions to real, immediate, and future problems facing Michigan’s rural communities such as broadband expansion, affordable housing and more,” said Tim Boring, MDARD Director. “The Office of Rural Development’s grant program allows us to work side-by-side with local leaders to help our rural businesses and communities thrive.”

We know these dollars will give our rural communities the tools they need for new investment and initiatives that address their biggest challenges,” said Sarah Lucas, MDARD’s ORD Director. “We’re thrilled to be able to work as partners with local and regional leaders in planning for prosperity in rural Michigan.”

The second round of RRPG grants will provide funding of up to $50,000 to support collaborative planning and capacity initiatives in Michigan’s rural communities. Grants will help invest in underserved rural areas and populations by providing reimbursement grant funding for planning, capacity building activities, development readiness initiatives, and building collaboration and partnerships across communities and sectors.

Round two grant guidelines mirror round one, but with an expanded definition of eligible rural communities. Details on eligibility can be found on

Interested communities and organizations must submit a Letter of Intent outlining a summary of the proposed project, how it meets the parameters of the Rural Readiness Grant Program goals and include the total estimated project cost to Matt Wiitala at no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

For more information about MDARD’s Office of Rural Development, visit their website at