Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Grant for Grand Valley State University to Support Rural Entrepreneurship Training in Isabella and Bay Counties

Friday, August 01, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support for Grand Valley State University to lead two Rural-Focused Agricultural Innovation and Entrepreneurship training programs in Bay and Isabella Counties. This support, made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program, will be used to help bring entrepreneurship workshops to rural communities.

"Today's announcement is great news for Grand Valley State University and rural entrepreneurs in Bay and Isabella counties," said Stabenow. "These agricultural innovation workshops will help connect entrepreneurs to vital resources and give them the tools to succeed."

"Senator Stabenow, United States Department of Agricultural and Rural Development State Director Jim Turner, and others who have supported this project join us in recognizing the great economic potential in Michigan's agricultural sector," said Grand Valley State University Project Manager Julie Cowie. "This effort offers practical lean startup tools and connections to Michigan's entrepreneur ecosystem to the innovators and entrepreneurs who have much to offer rural economies."

Grand Valley State University will receive $30,375 to implement workshops that spur rural enterprise development and job creation in rural communities across Isabella and Bay Counties. These programs will connect entrepreneurs to economic development resources, technology, and start-up training to help them commercialize their products and ideas.

Stabenow sent a letter of support in March urging USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider Grand Valley State University's grant application. Stabenow is Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over rural development projects.