BISMARCK, ND, Jun 28, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider 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.
“Creating value-added products is an effective way to increase financial returns and boost economic activity in rural communities,” said Schneider. “This program helps local businesses get access to capital, technical assistance and new markets for their products and services, which will ultimately promote business expansion, job creation, and economic opportunities.”
The application deadline is August 29, 2011. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see 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.
Further information on the Value-Added Producer Grant Program is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm or please contact the USDA Rural Development office in Bismarck at (701) 530-2037.