Veneman announces $75 million in USDA grants; co-ops get $18 million for value-added projects

griculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman in October announced more than $75 million in USDA grants for rural economic development, energy and rural infrastructure projects to help spur investment and create new jobs in rural communities throughout the United States.

“These grants will bring new economic opportunities and job creation for rural America,” Veneman said in announcing the grants in October. “The Bush administration continues to increase investment in health care, education, value-added processing and rural infrastructure which is providing renewed growth to these important sectors of our economy.”

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development grants support two pillars of President Bush’s rural policy initiative: economic growth and energy development. These 231 grants in 43 states total over $37 million and will fund a variety of agricultural ventures, such as renewable energy, agri-marketing and developing high-value products made from major crops and commodities.

Thirty five projects totaling more than $7.2 million will foster development of alternative energy sources.

Among the value-added grant recipients, 81 are cooperatives, which account for $18.6 million of the grant money almost exactly half the dollars available under the program, now in its second year. USDA received grant applications totaling more than $120 million. Grant applications are evaluated and scored by an impartial panel of reviewers.

Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which will double the impact of the USDA grants. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. For information on applying for 2003 value-added grants visit:

The Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants will fund 71 recipients totaling more than $27 million for education and medical service in 33 states. The award of these grants will bring to rural communities access to better, faster and more modern health care, and students in rural areas will receive better equipment and learning tools and access to courses that would otherwise be unavailable.

These grants help invest in infrastructure projects that assist rural communities with communications and medical services. A complete list of 2002 recipients can be found at: The Rural Housing Service Community Facilities Program’s Rural Community Development Initiative will fund 41 proposals in 22 states and the District of Columbia totaling nearly $12 million. Grants will help private and nonprofit community-based development organizations and lowincome communities improve their ability to develop rural housing and community facilities.

These projects will help create jobs and economic investment in rural areas through direct investment and housing availability. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds which will double the impact of the USDA grants. Funding of individual recipients will be contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. For information on 2003 funding availability and applications please visit:

“These grant programs are important to helping America’s rural communities thrive and prosper,” said Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr. “Investing in our hospitals and schools, as well as providing housing development for low income communities, helps families, creates new jobs and provides real investments in these rural areas.” A complete list of 2002 recipients can be found at: http://www.rurdev.

The cooperatives listed below represent about 50 percent of VADG grant funds allocated. For a complete list of recipients and brief descriptions of projects funded, go to:

State Recipient Amount
Alask United Association, Kodiak Chapter 18,896
Arizona Desert Wheat Growers 56,600
California California Dairies Inc. $80,579
California Wild Rice Growers Assoc $130,000
Diamond Walnut Growers $345,000
Farmer’s Rice Cooperative Inc. $350,000
Golden State Grain Growers Cooperative $39,900
Pacific Coast Producers $450,000
Producer’s Choice $271,136
Sunsweet Growers Inc. $500,000
Colorado Fruita Consumers Cooperative $48,000
Mountain View Harvest Cooperative $342,310
Olathe Patato Growers Cooperative Assoc. $41,300
Delaware Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. $200,000
Georgia Farmers Oilseed Cooperative Inc. $149,000
Illinois LincolnLand Agri-Energy $500,000
Meadowbrook Farms Cooperative $500,000
Shawnee Winery Cooperative Inc. $52,000
Iowa Ag Ventures Alliance Cooperative $149,000
Big River Resources Cooperative (BRRC) $500,000
Iowa Cooperative $195,000
Iowa Quality Beef Supply Cooperative $500,000
North Central Cooperative $32,300
Power Plus Technologies $500,000
Quad County Corn Processors $450,000
Quality Organic Producers Cooperative $500,000
Kansas 21st Century Grain Processing Cooperative $500,000
American White Wheat Producers Assn. $218,710
Cooperative Agricultural Services Inc. $500,000
Kentucky Cumberland Farm Products Assn. Inc. $38,250
Kentucky West Nursery Cooperative $349,872
Massachusetts National Grape Cooperative Association $450,000
Pioneer Valley Milk Marketing Cooperative $50,000
United Cooperative Farmers Inc $50,000
United Cooperative Farmers Inc. $200,000
Michigan Great Lakes Organic Processors Cooperative $86,400
Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative $150,000
Minnesota Blue Mound Soy $150,000
Cenex Harvest States $94,000
Harvest Land Cooperative $148,000
SoyMor $500,000
Mississippi Cook Swine Farm $65,429
K & G Farms $48,032
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives $150,000
Syrisia’s Food/Karl Hampton $66,050
Missouri AgraMarke Quality Grains, Inc. $458,850
Dairy Farmers of America $115,500
Missouri Food and Fiber, Inc. $249,500
U. S. Premium Beef, Ltd. $500,000
Montana Amazing Grains Cooperative $323,837
Nebraska Ag Processing Inc. $346,950
Dorchester Farmers Cooperative $500,000
Farmers Coop Oil Company $22,300
KAAPA $154,950
Small Farms Cooperative $250,000
New Jersey Jersey Fruit Cooperative Association Inc $25,100
New York Catskill Family Farms Cooperative Inc. $30,000
New York Natural Beef Cooperative $248,258
North Dakota Dakota Pride Cooperative $94,260
Fessenden Cooperative Association $500,000
Heartland Durum Growers Cooperative $500,000
Iso-Straw Cooperative Inc. $378,040
Ohio Farm Fresh Growers Marketing Association, $150,000
United Producers, Inc. $500,000
Oregon Oregon Trail Beef Cooperative $25,000 $25,000
RainSweet, Inc. $250,000
Pennsylvania Eastern States Bison Cooperative $109,141
Pennsylvania Cooperative Potato Growers $450,000
Tennessee Appalachian Spring Cooperative $39,800
Texas Farmers Cooperative Elevator Association of $249,658
Texas-New Mexico Sugar Beet Growers $23,500
Vermont Agri-Mark Inc. $300,000
Vermont Quality Meats Cooperative $75,469
Washington Darigold Inc. d/b/a WestFarm Foods $450,000
Pro-Mar Select Wheat of Idaho Inc. $47,500
Wisconsin Alto Dairy Cooperative $150,000
Organic Choice Coop $50,000
Partners In Forestry $69,700
Rainbow Farmers Cooperative $150,000
Sustainable Woods Cooperative $57,512
Western Wisconsin Renewable Energy Coop $65,000
Total VADGs awarded to co-ops: $18,625,589

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