Applications for approximately $18.4 million in grants to develop value-added agriculture business ventures and alternative sources of renewable energy are due March 31, 2008.
The USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant program is open to eligible producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Value-added products are those agricultural products, which gain value through processing, production, segregation or other means, or produce renewable energy on a farm or ranch.
For more information on the program, on to obtain an application package or on how to get assistance with your grant application contact, Teresa Brohimer, in the Lincoln Rural Development office at 402-423-9683. Additional program information can be found at: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm. An application template can be found at: fpc.unl.edu/Business/grant.shtml.
The maximum allowable grant amount is $100,000 for a planning grant and $300,000 for working capital. matching funds are required for eligibility.
Gant funds may be used to fund one of the following two: 1. planning activities needed to establish a viable value-added marketing opportunity for an agricultural product (e.g. conduct a feasibility study, develop a business or marketing plan); or 2. acquire working capital to operate a value-added business venture that will allow producers to better compete in domestic and international markets.