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The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development administers various grants, including the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant and the state-funded Value-Added Grant and Rural Development Fund Grants. The purpose of the grants is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, promote expansion of value-added agriculture production within the state, and support infrastructure in rural communities.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. The USDA offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to support economic development and essential services.
With a $220 billion portfolio of loans the USDA can provide funding opportunities for rural small businesses through loans, loan guarantees, and grants. Key USDA programs include:
- Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans
- Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
- Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
- Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
- Multi-Family Housing Loan Guarantees
- Business & Industry Loan Guarantees
- Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans & Grants
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. Learn more about SBA funding programs.
FSA offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts during drought or similar qualifying natural disasters.
The Mission of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans
FSA services can include:
- Programs to stabilize farm income
- Conserve Farmland and water resources
- Credit to new or disadvantaged farmers and ranchers
- Emergency funding from the effects of disaster
- Loans to build or upgrade farm storage and handling
- Purchase Loan guarantee programs for farm ownership
- Operating loan guarantee programs for operating cost
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the Nation’s soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal lands. These programs help provide financial assistance to agricultural producers to implement new conservation measures. Other programs allow landowners to sell development rights to their land that require the land to be maintained as wetlands or for specific agricultural uses.
The Grants.gov program is a federal E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget. Using the Grants.gov system makes it faster, easier and more cost effective for grant applicants to electronically interact with federal grant-making agencies. There are more than 1,000 different grant programs across federal grant-making agencies awarding more than $500 billion annually. Grants.gov Standardizes grant information, application packages and processes for finding and applying for federal grants.
Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems publishes a directory providing an overview of various financing sources available to food-related businesses in Michigan and across the United States. While not comprehensive, the directory includes sources of national and local finance opportunities that may be available to farmers, food producers, distributors, food hubs, and other food related businesses. Find the seventh edition of this directory here: Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses, Seventh Edition - Center for Regional Food Systems (msu.edu).
Northern Initiatives (NI) is a Community Development Financial Institution that provides loans and business services to small business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs and enable the communities of Northern rural Michigan and neighboring Wisconsin to thrive.
The CDFA Food Systems Finance Resource Center outlines development finance tools that can be used to support local food systems, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, revolving loan funds, and other tools.
The resource guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas:
- Planning and technical assistance
- Infrastructure and broadband expansion
- Entrepreneurship and business assistance
- Workforce development and livability
Don’t see what you need here? Contact the Economic Development Program at