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Office of Rural Development Leader Announced

Mar 18, 2022

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell has named Sarah Lucas to lead the newly created Office of Rural Development, effective April 18. Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the office in January to focus on the strategic needs of rural Michigan, including economic and workforce development, infrastructure, public health, and environmental sustainability. Prior to […]

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Governor Creates Office of Rural Development

Jan 07, 2022

Through Executive Order, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created a new office to focus on all rural matters, provide guidance, and offer insight on investing in thriving rural communities. The new Office of Rural Development will be housed within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and its responsibilities will include: Collaborate with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and […]

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Public Input Requested on Agricultural Management Practices

Aug 20, 2021

Residents have until August 27, 2021, to submit comments on the proposed drafts of the 2022 Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs) for Michigan. The practices are reviewed each year by committees comprised of various experts and revised or updated, if necessary. All proposed GAAMPs changes are reviewed and approved by the Michigan Commission […]

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Department Celebrating 100th Anniversary

Jul 02, 2021

On July 1, 1921, the Michigan Department of Agriculture was created by a public act. Now known as the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, it was created to promote the agricultural interests of the state. Michigan’s food and agriculture industry has a $104.7 billion overall impact on the state’s economy annually and employs 17.2% […]

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Director Receives National Recognition

Jun 12, 2020

Brad Deacon, Director of Legal Affairs and Emergency Management for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was recently recognized by the Partnership for Food Safety Education as a “2020 Food Safety Hero” for his outstanding work in emergency preparedness. Mr. Deacon, who joined the department in May 1999, was the only representative from Michigan to be […]

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MDARD China Trade Mission

Aug 16, 2019

In an effort to increase awareness and interest in Michigan’s produce and food products, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be traveling to China, in the fourth annual Trade Missions to China. China is already the fifth largest importer of Michigan agriculture and products, and Mission aims to continue and strengthen that […]

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Joint Hearing of Michigan House and Senate Agriculture Committees

Aug 16, 2019

On Tuesday, August 13, the Michigan House and Senate Agriculture Committees met in a joint hearing at Michigan State University to hear testimony from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan State University, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, the Michigan Farm Bureau, and the Michigan Agri-Business Association.  Testimony rotated […]

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Leadership Announcement at Ag Department

Mar 30, 2018

Ken McFarlane has been named as the chief deputy director at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Mr. McFarlane has worked at MDARD since June 2014, first serving as the Director of Strategy and Business Performance and was appointed deputy director in February 2016. Prior to joining the department, he worked in […]

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