Skip to main content

MDARD Announces Grant Opportunity for Rural Communities

Proposals due by 3 p.m. (EST) on January 9, 2024

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 improving infrastructure in rural communities across Michigan.     

 "The success and long-term prosperity of Michigan s food and agriculture industry is deeply rooted within our rural communities. At MDARD, we're committed to providing support and resources to help our rural communities grow and thrive," said Director Tim Boring. "This grant opportunity prioritizes sustainable practices and infrastructure improvements which will benefit rural communities for years to come."

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. 

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

Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive review process. The maximum limit on project grant fund requests is $100,000. The total allotment for the current year is approximately $1.8 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 around land-based industries.

Those interested in applying for the grant program should visit to view the program details under the Rural Development Fund Grants. New this year, all applications must be submitted through the MiAgGrants system. All applicants are required to submit three letters of support. 

MDARD will be hosting an informational webinar on this grant opportunity on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 2 p.m. (EST). More information on the webinar can be found on our website

Any additional communications concerning this Request for Proposal should be sent to Proposals must be received at the email provided by 3 p.m. (EST) on January 9, 2024 and those received after 3 p.m. (EST) will not be considered.

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


Media Contact: