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Michigan invests in rural communities with grants

Michigan invests in rural communities with grants

By Andi Anderson

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) awarded 24 Rural Development Fund Grants totaling over $1.8 million. These grants aim to support the sustainability of land-based industries and improve infrastructure in rural areas.

"This investment prioritizes rural communities by improving infrastructure and creating economic opportunities," said MDARD Director Tim Boring. "These grant dollars invest in our growing food and agriculture workforce, increase building capacity, improve existing infrastructure and create new economic opportunities within our rural communities."

MDARD received proposals exceeding $7.2 million and strategically awarded grants across the state, with a focus on Marquette County. Here are some of the recipients:

  • Meister Trees ($33,225): Installing a drip irrigation system to support a new corn maze, pumpkin patch, and enhance their existing irrigation capabilities.
  • Northern Deer Processing ($100,000): Expanding meat processing capacity to benefit local and regional ranchers.
  • City of Marquette ($45,500): Funding essential planning for a comprehensive bike lane infrastructure project.
  • The Preserve, LLC ($100,000): Constructing a new access road to a campground, promoting recreational activity in Marquette County.
  • Camp Black River ($69,592): Developing a glamping campground that preserves the land's character and history.
  • Huron Mountain Outfitters ($65,477): Building renovations to create a safer and more welcoming space for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Alpena Community College ($100,000): Acquiring a bucket truck to enhance training opportunities for Utility Arborist program students.
  • Michigan Freeze Pack ($100,000): Doubling automated packaging capacity at their facility.
  • Michilimackinac Historical Society ($100,000): Building a new facility to protect their collection and enhance the museum experience.
  • Uncommon Rancher LLC ($100,000): Constructing a new processing facility to support agritourism and expand commercial relationships.
  • Riveridge Produce Marketing ($100,000): Building a new cherry packing facility to serve Michigan cherry growers.
  • Oceana County Development Corporation ($100,000): Addressing affordable housing needs in Shelby Township.
  • Forbush Corner Nordic ($99,855): Upgrading their maintenance facility, ski school, and restrooms to accommodate future growth.
  • NOBO MRKT LLC ($100,000): Supporting local food businesses and market demand for locally produced food.
  • Campbell Crossing Farm ($31,021): Increasing access to fresh produce for the local community.

These grants demonstrate the Michigan government's commitment to revitalizing rural communities and ensuring their long-term success. By investing in infrastructure, workforce development, and business opportunities, these projects pave the way for a more vibrant and sustainable future for rural Michigan.

Photo Credit: getty-images-elhenyo

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