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Anita “Janie”Dunning, State Director for Missouri USDA Rural Development, hosted a meeting to recognize fifteen Missouri businesses which have been selected to receive Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG). The Missouri organizations were among the 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico which were selected from the national competition to receive business development assistance through the VAPG program.
“These projects will provide financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across Missouri,” Dunning said. ”This funding will promote small business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities by assisting local businesses with access to capital, technical assistance and new markets for products and services.”
The VAPG Grant funds 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, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.
Grant funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant.
Information about the fifteen Missouri projects includes:
• 1Soy, Inc – Jefferson City – $100,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to access a new foreign market, Thailand.
• American Soy Asia, LLC – Hermann – $300,000. Funds will be used by American Soy Asia, LLC to focus on expanding existing marketing efforts in Southeast Asia.
• Boeckmann Family Farms – Loose Creek – $281,670. Funds will be used as working capital to enable Boeckmann Family Farms to enter new markets.
• Borgman’s Dairy Farm – Holden – $28,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to develop a feasibility study and business plan for expansion into goat cheese processing and marketing.
• Grove Dairy Products, LLC – Mountain Grove – $50,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to identify and explore the roadmap of successfully launching Grove Dairy’s product line of ice-cream, yogurt and cheese.
• Missouri Food and Fiber, LLC – Garden City – $100,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to assess a new feed market opportunity in the form of examining the regional demand for a new product, SoyGain. They seek to determine if SoyGain can add value to beef cattle production rations as a high by-pass and low oligosaccharide feed product.
• Lavy Dairy Farm, LLC – Silex – $38,000. Funds will be used for determining the feasibility of processing milk into cheese.
• Soy Labs, LLC – Jefferson City – $100,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to determine whether soy ingredients can feasibly be incorporated in functional food and beverage, nutraceutical and health supplement products.
• Tuscolo Hill Vineyards, LLC – Rolla – $16,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to determine the viability of growing and producing a value-added blueberry product.
• Show Me Energy Cooperative – Centerview – $100,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to ascertain the viability of construction and operating a state-of-the-art 20 megawatt CHP power plant that will process herbaceous biomass into electricity.
• Ortiz Farms – Garden City – $78,795. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to assess the feasibility of a forage sorghum renewable energy facility on a smaller, on-farm setting.
• Nature Friendly Conservation Branded Beef – Novinger – $34,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities to assess market potential for value added, nature friendly retail beef products by evaluating consumer demand for individual and bundled credence attributes.
• McKaskle Farms – Pemiscot – $40,000. Funds will be used for economic planning activities for organic commodity processing.
• Hampton Alternative Energy Products, LLC – Triplett – $210,000. Funds will be used as working capital to process, package, and market bio-solids produced from digestive solids.
• Jowler Creek Winery, Inc – Platte City – $18,363. Funds will be used as working capital in the production of Vignoles grapes into a high-quality, sweet, slightly-sparkling bottled wine.
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 active portfolio of more than $155 billion in affordable 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.