News Release
Release No.STELPRD4014575
ContactVicki Schurman402-437-5563
Lincoln, Nebraska, Feb 03, 2012 --

@@ State Director, Maxine Moul today announced that USDA Rural Development has selected five recipients in Nebraska to receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

“In his State of the Union address last week, 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,” Moul 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."

The five Nebraska project are:

    Hickman: Knotted Wood Distillery received $49,950 for marketing support of locally produced distilled brand whiskey made from locally grown corn, wheat and milo. The product will be marketed locally in Nebraska to retail outlets, restaurants and end-users.

    Martell: Robinette Farms, LLC received $24,944 to support the marketing of locally produced vegetables to retail food establishments, wholesale food providers, and consumers. The funds will be used to develop an on-line procurement system for ordering directly from Robinette’s.

    North Platte: Feather River Vineyards received $49,998 to assist in the marketing of the winery. Feather River wants to expand its sales in Kearney, Hastings, Grand Island, Omaha and Lincoln.

    Plainview: Nebraska Waters, LLC received $300,000 to promote its locally grown trout throughout Nebraska. The trout are grown on their farm near Plainview.

    Rural Lincoln: Hollenbeck Farms received $258,250 to market locally grown all natural beef raised on its farm. Currently it is selling to local farmers markets and local retail outlets. The funds will help increase its customer base and increase the number of beef processed and delivered to the consumers.

For a complete list of recipients receiving grants please click here. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

The Value-Added Producer Grants announced today total more than $40.2 million. 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. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at