COLUMBUS — The USDA’s Rural Development Office awarded $471,000 in Value-Added Producer Grant funding to three recipients during the 2008 fiscal year funding cycle.
“These results reflect the effectiveness of our outreach efforts and the increased awareness by the agricultural community of the program’s benefits,” said State Director Randy Hunt.
“The response to our Value-Added Program continues to be extremely encouraging. Over the last three years Ohio has secured more than $1.3 million in Value-Added grants to help improve the profitability of the state’s agriculture sector.”
Competition for these funds has become more intense as national awareness of the program’s benefits has increased.
Ohio had 10 applicants whose requests totaled $985,675.
Of those 10 Ohio requests, three grants totaling $417,000 were awarded. The grant recipients are:
- Great Lakes Family Farms, Inc. – $280,500;
- The Chef’s Garden, Inc. – $97,500 and
- The Ohio Soybean Council – $93,000.
Ohio’s value-added program has secured $2.3 million to fund 14 successful projects since Fiscal Year 2002.
Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.
The Value-Added Producer Grant program was authorized by the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 and the 2002 farm bill.
Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for planning activities, such as feasibility studies or business plans, or to provide working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based bio energy projects.