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Monday, April 18, 2016

Ag Producers Are 'In the Green' With Grants from USDA

usda_value_added_producer_grant_program
July 1, 2016 is the deadline for agriculture producers to apply for a Value-Added Producer grant. The grant is being offered again by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has been awarding these grants since 2009.

Who can apply?

Those who are eligible to apply for a grant include veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches. Other eligible applicants include companies who create projects that will increase marketing opportunities for agriculture owners and operators. Grant money can be used to either develop new products or additional uses for existing products.

Purpose of the grant

The purpose of the Value-Added Grant Program is to strengthen rural America by promoting and expanding markets for agricultural products. The USDA has awarded 1,126 Value-Added Producer grants totaling $144.7 million since the grant program began in 2009. The program has strengthened income for farm families and has also strengthened local economies.

Examples of businesses who have recently been awarded a Value-Added Producer grant is a Fort Hall, Idaho company, Shoshone-Bannock Enterprises, who received a $75,000 grant to study processing, packaging and marketing of buffalo meat. Another company in Oberlin, Kansas, Sappa Valley Poultry, was awarded a $49,663 grant to expand distribution of their free-range chicken products into other state markets.

Agricultural producers who want to apply for a grant may do so by contacting their local USDA Rural Development office.

Read more at mydailysentinel.com/news/5483/usda-offers-grants-to-help-ag-producers


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