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. Read more »
I recently began the Know your Farmer, Know Your Food College tour, and one of the locations I visited was a farmer’s market in North Carolina. Many of the regionally and locally produced products we see at farmer’s markets have a helping hand from USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program.
Sometimes it’s tough for a small or beginning rural business or cooperative to come up with the money for a feasibility study, marketing or packaging. That’s where USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant program can help. Read more »
Farm owner Andy Dunham (wearing cap) explains his crop production system to John Whitaker, FSA Iowa State Executive Director
Recent estimates indicate only nine percent of family farm income comes from farming and fewer than half of our nation’s farmers and ranchers list farming as their primary occupation. Read more »
A Slice of Vermont for Winter: Champlain Orchards boxed pumpkin pie
This list of ingredients was enough to get my mouth watering: Champlain Orchards’ apple cider syrup, local butter and heavy cream, and the star of the show – Vermont pumpkin puree. Champlain Orchards in the beautiful Lake Champlain Valley of Vermont is making its first pumpkin pies this year, just in time for Thanksgiving. Read more »
Last month we were proud to announce awards for the Value-Added Producer Grants program. Managed by USDA’s Rural Development, this program has had nearly a decade of success in helping producers capture more value for their agricultural products by producing, processing, or marketing their product in a way that enhances the value or expands the customer base for that product. Supporting this type of activity also creates new jobs, contributes to economic development, and enhances consumer food choice. Read more »