New Farm Innovation Grant Program seeks Michigan innovators in the food and agricultural industries,

What’s happening: The application window has opened for a new grant opportunity from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), one that could net members of the state’s food and agricultural industry up to $200,000 in grant assistance for innovative solutions to today and tomorrow’s most pressing problems. Proposals for the new Farm Innovation Grant Program are due no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27.

What they’re looking for: MDARD seeks innovative solutions for farm, agriculture processing, and supply chain problems facing the industry. More specifically, MDARD is interested in new and innovative technologies that can mitigate the effects of climate change; projects that strengthen and expand the state’s food supply chain, which can include new technologies, equipment, and research; projects that will assist in automating food processing and farm production in areas where it’s difficult to meet workforce needs; projects that strengthen the ability for rural communities to support farm and food processing; and, of course, “other,” where applicants can describe their own solutions to prevalent problems facing the industry.

Why it’s important: “At MDARD, we're constantly working to develop programs to bolster our food and agriculture sectors across Michigan while encouraging them to innovate and modernize," says MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "The new Farm Innovation Grant Program is an excellent example of how we continue to develop state-of-the-art solutions to our industry's immediate and future needs. The success and sustainability of our food and agricultural industry is key to moving Michigan forward."

How to apply: Those interested can visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) online, where the Farm Innovation Grant guidelines and applications are readily available. The awards will be announced in February 2023.