|(MAY 1, 2013) VALUE-ADDED PRODUCER GRANTS SUPPORT NEW YORK PRODUCERS|
|Syracuse, NY, May 01, 2013
@@Rural Development New York Acting State Director Dave Schermerhorn announced six grant awards to agricultural producers in New York that will help create jobs and develop new products. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released a national list of 110 projects awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“This support will benefit rural businesses and the communities where the recipients are located,” Vilsack said. “These awards also will advance USDA’s goals to develop a bio-based economy and support local and regional food systems.” The grants help agricultural producers enhance the viability of their businesses by expanding marketing opportunities, creating new products, or developing new uses for existing products. Each grant dollar must be matched by at least an equal investment by grant recipients.
Cowbella, LLC, a sixth-generation family dairy farm in Jefferson, New York (Schoharie County), will use a $24,350 grant to expand direct-to-consumer sales of their line of yogurt and flavored butter products.
In Holland Patent, New York (Oneida County), Marie Redmond, owner-operator of Redmond's Red Deer Farm, will receive $49,181 to help the farm reach new customers and increase sales of her individually packaged red deer meat products.
Value-Added Producer Grants are an important element of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which coordinates USDA’s work to support local and regional food systems. Previous VAPG awards supporting local and regional projects are mapped on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food compass, http://www.usda.gov/maps/maps/kyfcompassmap.htm.
USDA Rural Development is funding an array of projects involving locally produced and marketed foods. These include cheese, wine, reduced-cholesterol dairy products, produce, packaged poultry, pork and beef products, and a variety of processed or prepared foods from locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Since the start of the Obama Administration, the VAPG program has helped more than 600 agricultural producers and rural businesses nationwide. Through the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress made several enhancements to the VAPG program. It expanded the definition of value-added to include locally-produced agricultural food products, and gave priority to projects that increase opportunities for small and mid-size family farmers, beginning farmers, and socially disadvantaged farmers.
The New York VAPG award recipients are listed below. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses, and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs, and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.