The MDARD state has a grant program available for rural areas


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) offers a competitive grant program to promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure for the benefit of rural Michigan communities.

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

Grants from the Rural Development Fund are available for projects focusing on the expansion and sustainability of land-based industries; training of workers related to land industries; and energy, transport, housing, communications, water and sanitation infrastructure for the benefit of rural communities and micropolitan statistical areas (defined by the US Department of Management and Budget as a zone / a county with at least one urban group of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 inhabitants). Specific projects to consider may include projects that lead to the expansion and location of meat processing facilities, if they are located in an eligible area.

Land industries include food and agriculture; forestry; mining; oil and gas production; and tourism. Eligible counties include those with a population not exceeding 70,000 or micropolitan statistical areas. For a full list of eligible counties, visit

Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive process. The maximum application limit for project grant funds is $ 100,000. The total funding allocation for the current year is approximately $ 1.74 million. All proposals require a cash consideration of at least 30 percent. Grant applicants will be asked to describe how the project will impact and produce measurable results 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 host an informational webinar on this grant opportunity on Tuesday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m. (EST). You can find more information on the webinar on the website.

Any further communication regarding this Request for Proposal should be sent to [email protected]. Proposals must be received at the above email no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on November 18, 2021. Proposals received after 3:00 p.m. EST will not be considered.

Grants from the Rural Development Fund are financed by the tax on non-ferrous metallic mineral extraction allowances. The Rural Development Fund was established under PA 411 of 2012. Revenue from the severance pay tax is in line with PA 410 of 2012.

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