Learn more about value-added grants

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – A workshop March 18 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, will explain this year’s Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants and who is eligible for up to $500,000.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program is 9 a.m. to noon at Ohio Department of Agriculture, Bromfield Building, 8995 East Main St., Reynoldsburg.

The workshop will discuss eligibility requirements, selection criteria, what can be funded and how to write an application.

The grants’ purpose is to help qualified applicants develop business plans for viable marketing opportunities and develop strategies to create marketing opportunities in emerging markets.

Respond by March 14 to Beverly Dennis at 614-466-5495 or dennis@odant.agri.state.oh.us.

Eligibility. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

Everyone but independent producers must propose ventures that are entering emerging markets.

The application requires matching funds equal to the amount requested.

Funds can be used for planning and working capital.

Thousands. Last year in Ohio, $900,000 was distributed.

The following funds were distributed: $50,000 to Cinergy Services Inc. to conduct a feasibility study and business plan for biomass co-firing in Indiana; $500,000 to United Producers Inc. to implement a producer-owned verified beef network;

$150,000 to Farm Fresh Growers Marketing to conduct a feasibility study of a joint venture with a food processing company to produce home meal replacements;

$50,000 to Ohio Soybean Council to evaluate technical and commercial feasibility of manufacturing and marketing frozen tofu in Ohio; and $150,000 to The Association of Appalachia’s to conduct a feasibility plan to develop a nutraceutical market for native Ohio grapes.

Background. The grants were authorized by the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 and was amended by the 2002 farm bill.

For more information call 614-255-2425 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/.

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What does value-added mean?

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Value-added activities must expand the customer base for the product or commodity.

They must also result in a greater portion of the revenues derived from the value-added activity that are available to the producer.

Examples include:

* Changing the physical state or form of the product.

* Marketing of a product produced in a manner that enhances its value, as demonstrated through a business plan.

* Physical segregation of an agricultural commodity that results in the enhancement of the value of that commodity.

* Any agricultural commodity or product that is used to produce renewable energy on a farm or ranch.

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