Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that applications are being accepted for grants to provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.
“By creating value-added products, farmers and ranchers can expand economic opportunities, create jobs and keep wealth in rural communities,” Merrigan said. “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.”
“Investing in the ideas of rural Texans is a direct route to the economic recovery of our rural communities," said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “I urge rural Texans to take advantage of this funding opportunity to increase the value of their agricultural products and create jobs in their communities.
The application deadline is August 29, 2011. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-28/html/2011-16121.htm or the June 28, 2011, 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.
Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.