United States Department
of Agriculture Rural Development
Contact: Alec Lloyd
EAST LANSING, June 8, 2010 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director for Michigan James J. Turner today announced three Value-Added Producer Grants for businesses in Berrien and Van Buren counties.
Lindah Vinyards, Inc. in Buchanan will receive a $7,400 grant to plan for a wine and culinary institute at the vineyard. This will help to test a business model for other wineries in the Great Lakes region.
Leslie J. Weatherford in Galien will receive a $35,000 grant to serve as working capital to develop a Fresh Salsa product and increase its customer base to 16 local markets.
Nutting Farms in Bangor will receive a $48,250 grant to develop a business plan that demonstrates the feasibility of a dried blueberry production project.
The grants are part of $22.5 million in grants to recipients in 45 states. Michigan has seven projects totaling $814,815.
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, and agricultural producer groups. 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 more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nations capital and 500 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $138 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
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