US (MI): MDARD Announces Request For Proposals To Build Readiness For A New Minority-Owned Food And Agriculture Business Grant Program

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) from minority-owned food and agriculture businesses and supportive organizations looking to increase capacity initiatives. In this phase one RFP, businesses should be looking to increase capacity initiatives in business plan development, grant management training, partnership development, and financial investment planning.

This initial phase of grants will help build capacity and readiness for the next round of grants that will be offered directly to minority-owned food and agriculture businesses in Michigan. This reimbursement grant program aims to provide eligible organizations up to $50,000 in funding. Phase two will be launched later in 2024.

“We must upgrade our bipartisan economic development toolkit so we can keep bringing supply chains and good-paying jobs home to Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “With this new opportunity from MDARD for minority-owned food and agriculture businesses, we can continue diversifying one of our most vital industries and ensure anyone can make it in Michigan. I urge organizations to submit proposals so we can get resources out the door quickly and start creating opportunities across Michigan.”

“As I continue to meet with food and agriculture businesses across our state, I routinely hear the need for capacity-building opportunities for our smaller businesses,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “Thanks to the Governor’s bipartisan budget, this investment in our minority-owned businesses provides a critical avenue to expand their customer base and create good-paying jobs while increasing their footprint within our thriving food and agriculture industry. At MDARD, we’re dedicated to furthering new economic opportunities for agricultural businesses and demonstrating they can ‘Make it in Michigan.'”

The requirements for project funding include:

  • Capacity Building New, enhanced, or scaled fellowship programs or community-based internship programs, development of training curriculum, and leadership development programs.
  • Development Readiness Activities that prepare minority-owned business owners to establish key properties for development or investment, including the development of business plans, project development studies, grant writing, grant management, financial management, and more.
  • Partnerships and Planning Activities including development of plans and implementation activities that build readiness for future projects, collaborative initiatives, development, and investment for applying for grant funding.

Eligible applicants for this grant funding include tax-exempt organizations/non-profits, including community foundations and statewide associations, private/for-profit businesses, economic development or foundations, federally recognized tribes, and educational institutions.

To apply for this grant, visit and click on the Minority-owned Food and Agriculture Business Grant tab for the program guidelines and a fillable Word document form.

The fillable Word document form must be submitted to Proposals for this grant will be accepted until 3 p.m. EST on April 18, 2024. Applicants will be notified of award status in May 2024.


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