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News Release
Release No. STELPRD4014572
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Printable Version  Printable Version
Funds Will Help 11 Businesses with Working Capital and Marketing Support

Des Moines, Iowa, Feb 06, 2012 -- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan last week announced that USDA has selected 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico to receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

Eleven of the recipients are from Iowa.

“In his State of the Union address President Obama was clear that we need to do more to create jobs and promote economic growth. These projects will provide financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across the country,” Merrigan said.  “This funding will promote small business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities by providing local businesses with access capital, technical assistance and new markets for products and services.”

Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant.

Information about the Iowa projects includes:

Grass Run Farm, Inc. – Dorchester, Iowa – $49,847 grant

Funds will assist business with marketing of grass-fed beef.

Country View Dairy, LLC – Hawkeye, Iowa – $86,826 grant

Funds will assist business marketing yogurt and other farm-produced dairy products in northeast Iowa.

Hafner Inc. – Panora, Iowa – $30,225 grant

Funds will assist business market and business planning for on-farm milling of organic small grains and corn.

Jokir’s Wild Value Added Beef – Gilmore City, Iowa – $49,120 grant

Funds will assist business with marketing value-added beef in north central Iowa.

Iowa Hops Company – Amana, Iowa – $35,340 grant

Funds will assist business with marketing hops to local breweries and home brewers.

Mark and Leslie Hulsebus – Donnellson, Iowa – $13,000 grant

Funds will assist business with marketing of locally produced beef.

Schafer Fisheries Iowa, Inc. – Fort Madison, Iowa – $300,000 grant

Funds will assist business with working capital to produce and market catfish, freshwater drum and buffalo fish.

Iowa Choice Harvest, LLC – Ames, Iowa – $255,284 grant

Funds will assist business with working capital and marketing efforts

Farmers’ All Natural Creamery, LLC – Wellman, Iowa – $280,000 grant

Funds will assist business with working capital to launch a product line of organic specialty cheeses.

Unruh Greenhouse, LLC – West Union, Iowa – $49,990 grant

Funds will assist business with working capital to process and package lettuce that will be sold to grocery stores, universities and hospitals.

Two Saints Winery – Saint Charles, Iowa – $26,680 grant

Funds will assist business with working capital and marketing of winery.

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.

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.

Contact USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural areas and communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at or by calling (515) 284-4663.

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Last Modified:10/29/2012 
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