Syracuse, NY, Feb 03, 2012 -- Today, USDA Rural Development New York State Director Jill Harvey announced three projects in the North Country that have received funding through Rural Development’s Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage. This announcement is part of twenty-one projects funded throughout the state, totaling nearly $2 million.
The following is a listing of projects funded in the North Country;
North Country Farms $180,638
Kilcoyne Farms $261,077
North Country Landscape & Nursery, Inc. DBA
Tug Hill Vineyards $59,950
The funded projects will create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families. The grants act as a catalyst for business development and entrepreneurship by providing access to capital and technical assistance.
Funding will help North Country Farms expand local and regional sales of their locally-ground baking flours, pancake and muffin mix products. Kilcoyne Farms plans to expand its marketing territory into New York’s Capital District and New York City metro markets, increasing sales of their specialty beef products. Tug Hill Vineyard, whose recently built winery overlooks the Black River Valley and the Adirondacks, will use the grant funds to market the vineyard’s line of wines made from cold-hardy grapes that survive the bitter North Country winters.
“By creating value-added products, farmers can expand economic opportunities, create jobs and keep wealth in rural communities,” Jill Harvey said. “These projects will promote business expansion and entrepreneurship by helping local businesses get access to capital, technical assistance and new markets for their products and services.”
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available by visiting Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ny.