Whitmer creates Office of Rural Development
As part of her Michigan COVID Recovery Plan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is putting added emphasis on rural communities by creating an Office of Rural Development.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will house the office and focus on issues including broadband, talent, and infrastructure needs.
In a statement to Brownfield, MDARD Director Gary McDowell says even during the best times, rural communities were at a disadvantage, but the pandemic has widened the gap.
The Upper Peninsula native says the new office will help harness federal, state, and local resources in a way that has not been done before and ultimately create more and better opportunities for rural families and businesses.
Rural stakeholders say the announcement is a big deal for the Upper Peninsula and rural Michigan and the resources it could bring.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture added Rural Development to its name a decade ago expanding its mission to also focus on economic, social, and educational needs in rural areas.