The USDA has announced that applications are being accepted for grants to provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups through a grant Program.
"By creating value-added products, farmers and ranchers can expand economic opportunities, create jobs and keep wealth in rural communities," said a representative of the grant program. "These funding opportunities will promote business expansion and entrepreneurship by helping local businesses get access to capital, technical assistance and new markets for their products and services."
For example, in one county owners of a farm, received a grant to expand their processing capacity to produce beach plum jams and jellies, juice, and puree for retail and wholesale markets.
Located in Calif., a produce business, independent producers of organic and conventional cooking greens they received a grant for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. With this grant, the owner has been able to expand markets for their products and increase revenues.
Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects.
Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
Visit the website for additional information about the agency's program.