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 a $300,000 Value-Added Producer Grant for Cooperative Elevator Company in Pigeon.
The money will be used as working capital to develop a non-standard production method for the packaged premium “Black Bean for Mexico” project. This project will increase Michigan’s black bean market by introducing a one-kilogram package specifically designed for use in Mexico. The company is a farm cooperative owned by 921 farmers and the project will provide a direct benefit to 283 farmer-owner-members that produce black beans.
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 nation’s 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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