USDA Rural Development is actively seeking applicants for grants under its Value-Added Producer Grants Program, which can provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups.
"USDA Rural Development assists rural producers in adding value to their agricultural products through the Value-Added Producer Grants," says USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark. "Investing in the development of value-added agricultural products provides producers with tools to help further develop additional revenue opportunities in rural America."
In 2009, Nu Life Market based in Scott City, received a Value-Added Producer Grant to establish markets for its grain sorghum bran. Grain sorghum used by Nu Life Market is grown, processed, packaged and marketed by regional farmers. The company's sorghum bran, which can be utilized in food and beverage products, contains phytonutrients that can help aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity.
The application deadline for the grant program is August 29, 2011. Details about eligibility rules and application procedures, were published in the June 28 Federal Register.
Value=Added Producer 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. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.
For additional information regarding this and other USDA Rural Development programs visit the Agency's website http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/KS, or call the Agency's state office at 785-271-2700.
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.