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Investing In Rural America Essential to Job Creation and Business Growth
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan 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.”
Application deadline is August 29, 2011. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the June 28, 2011, Federal Register http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-28/html/2011-16121.htm. Value-Added Producer Grants http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG_Grants.html 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.
Additional information is available by contacting Nathan Chitwood with the Missouri USDA Rural Development State Office at 573-876-0995.
An informational meeting and training on completion of the application packet will be held at the Missouri USDA Rural Development State Office, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Suite 232 Parkade Center, Columbia, Missouri 65203 on July 14, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Those interested in obtaining additional information are encouraged to attend and/or contact Nathan Chitwood.
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.
Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov