On behalf of the Village of Shelby, the Oceana County Economic Alliance was awarded a $100,000 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development grant for the water main extension to the Peterson Farms workforce housing project.

The award was one of 20 grants awarded statewide totaling $1.7 million and leveraging a match of more than $6.7 million.

“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.”

The department received 139 proposals with requests totaling more than $11 million. Of those, MDARD awarded 20 projects, leveraging a match of more than $6.7 million:

The grant funds, made possible from Public Act 411 of 2012, are aimed to promote the sustainability of land-based industries (food and agriculture; forestry; mining, oil and gas production; and tourism) and support workforce training, rural capacity building, business development and infrastructure that benefits rural communities.

Eligible counties include those with a population no greater than 60,000 residents or micropolitan statistical areas.

The proposals were evaluated through a competitive process. For more information about this grant program or a complete list of eligible counties, visit https://www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.