Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has urged farmers and business owners to apply for grants to add value to the commodities they produce by funding planning activities such as feasibility studies, marketing and business plans, or for working capital. Overall program funding is set at $18 million. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.
USDA will award planning grants of up to $100,000 and working capital grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that use existing agricultural products in non-traditional ways or merge agricultural products with technology in creative ways. Businesses of all sizes may apply, but priority will be given to operators of family farms that average annual gross sales of less than $700,000.