The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has awarded 20 Rural Development Fund Grants designed to promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure that benefits rural communities.

“Rural Michigan isn’t some strange, faraway, uninhabited land,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Most of the people in this great state are either from or currently live in rural areas, so these grants have a real impact on the lives of people we know and in communities not far from our own. Rural Michigan has unlimited potential, but it needs opportunity. The Rural Development Fund grants help provide those opportunities.”

Of the 20 projects totaling $1,700,000 (leveraging a match of more than $6.7 million) three projects totaling $186,700 were in the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance service area:

  • Great Lakes Tissue Company – $100,000 (Cheboygan) – Expansion of new processing equipment to add value to the plastic byproduct of recycled poly-coated paper feedstock of cartons, paper cups, food trays, and post-industrial paper used in the 100% recycle context tissue manufacturing.
  • Tuscarora Township – $54,900 (Indian River) – Installation of additional public boat dockage at Marina Park.  
  • Beaver Island Historical Society – $31,800 (Beaver Island) – Implement a tourism campaign, upgrades at Heritage Park and Blue Buffalo Camp Trail, development of a mobile app for tourists.