Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Availability of Funds to Create New Business Opportunities for Agricultural Producers
One of the most satisfying aspects of my job has been to hear the various ways USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program is making a positive difference in our rural economy. I’m pleased to announce new funding efforts by the Obama Administration to create jobs and foster new business opportunities in rural America.
Rural Americans take pride in and depend on the farmers, ranchers, and locally-owned businesses that provide fresh foods for their communities. Despite the important role of these rural businesses and cooperatives, it can be difficult for them to begin marketing or distributing their products without financial support.
This is why USDA Rural Development has a Value-Added Producer Grant Program available to assist with feasibility studies, marketing or packaging. If you are an independent producer, member of a farmer and rancher cooperative, agricultural producer, or work with local and regional supply networks, the Value-Added Producer Grant provides an opportunity to enhance your business and better serve rural America.
We know the Value-Added Program is making a difference across the country by expanding businesses and promoting entrepreneurship.
Thanks to a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant, Seaberry Farms in Caroline County, Maryland, was able to expand its processing capacity to produce beach plum jams and jellies, juice, and puree for retail and wholesale markets. The proud owners Richard and Wenfei Uva are excited to double their acreage in the coming year.
Snow’s Citrus Court, a small, family-owned and operated specialty citrus farm in Newcastle, California, received a Value-Added Producer Grant for a marketing campaign to help introduce its new citrus-based syrups, marinades, sauces and vinaigrettes to the surrounding community. The business offers its products at Farmers’ Markets, local markets, special events and through its website.
President Obama is committed to strengthening our economy and ensuring that the United States remains the best country in the world to do business. These success stories show the tremendous impact these grants have already had on our rural economy, with benefits felt across the country. Their impact will grow even larger over time, and I look forward to hearing about new Value-Added Producer Grant success stories.
To learn more about the Value-Added Producer Grants, please reach out to your USDA Rural Development state or area office at www.rurdev.usda.gov. Watch a video of Deputy Secretary Merrigan discussing the program below.