LANSING, Mich., Jan. 4, 2021 — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive to create the Office of Rural Development within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Office of Rural Development would analyze and address the ramifications of population and demographic trends, create policy goals, provide guidance on education, identify energy and communication needs, improve access to existing resources, and assist communities applying for grants, all with an eye toward rural communities.

State Rep. Angela Witwer (Delta Township), who introduced the bill in 2021 to create the Office of Rural Development, issued the following statement in support of the governor’s executive directive: 

“I’m very pleased to see our efforts to support rural communities pay off. This new office will ensure that Michigan communities, no matter their size or proximity to urban centers, receive the support they deserve. I applaud the governor for taking bold action to address their needs. I look forward to continuing to partner with the governor and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure that the voices of rural Michiganders are heard in Lansing.”