State taking applications for rural development grants

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is offering a competitive grant program to promote land-based industries and support infrastructure benefiting rural communities.

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 micropolitan statistical areas — defined by the U.S. Department of Management and Budget as an area/county with at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 population.

Land-based industries includes food and agriculture; forestry; mining; oil and gas production; and tourism. A complete list of eligible counties is at www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.

The maximum limit on project grant fund requests is $100,000. About $1.4 million is available. All proposals require at least a 30% cash match.

Communications should be sent to mda-grants@michigan.gov. Proposals must be received at that email address no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Oct. 29.

The Rural Development Fund grants are funded by the Nonferrous Metallic Minerals Extraction Severance Tax.