GRAND FORKS, N.D., Jul 29, 2013 -- Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director, announced today that the Red River Regional Council (RRRC) received a $32,941grant that will assist Red River Valley Community Action (RRVCA) research the development of a self-sustaining greenhouse business.
“This project has a great concept with numerous benefits as it will provide healthy, local foods and offer job training opportunities,” said Schneider. “We are proud to partner with both entities to find unique solutions to issues in our local communities.”
The grant will be used by RRVCA to research a greenhouse operation focused on providing primarily salad greens and other low-intensity produce. The research will explore various greenhouse models and consider locating in rural Grand Forks or Walsh County. The key concept is to sell harvested produce at a market rate to grocery stores, restaurants and distributors. The resulting revenue will then be used to subsidize the social service programs.
RRVCA’s services address nutrition and hunger issues, and also help the people they serve achieve economic independence. The greenhouse project seeks to provide broader access to healthy produce and job training to disadvantaged or unemployed people.
The grant announced today is administered through USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. Since 2009, this program has provided over $1.3 million in grants for North Dakota projects that finance business development. For more information on USDA programs, please call (701) 530-2037 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/nd.