Iowa Gets New Round of Value-Added Producer Grants

Iowa Gets New Round of Value-Added Producer Grants

USDA Rural Development announced June 3 that it is awarding $1.1 million to assist 13 value-added ag businesses in Iowa.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on June 3 announced USDA has selected recipients in 45 states and Puerto Rico to receive business development assistance grants to help them pursue marketing opportunities for agricultural commodities. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development assistance under the Value-Added Producer Grant program, which was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.

In this latest announcement, a total of 13 businesses in Iowa are receiving $1,164,162 in grant funds in this latest round of grants for the year 2010. The grant funds help new businesses with planning and working capital.

"As part of the Obama administration's work to help turn the economy around, USDA is acting as an important catalyst for business development and job creation in rural America," Vilsack said. "These grants will improve financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across the nation. USDA is investing in farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to strengthen the economic foundation of rural America."

Since 2001, there have been 133 businesses in Iowa that have been awarded more than $21 million in grant funds through this program. The following list of recipients for 2010 includes the name of the business, city where it's located, amount of the grant and the purpose for which the money will be used.

Receiving grant funds in Iowa this year include:

* Madison County Winery—Urbandale, $49,960 for working capital to market wine

* Plantpeddlar, Inc.—Cresco, $139,650 for working capital to market locally grown vegetables

* Iowa Grape Vines Winery, LLC—Preston, $6,000 for working capital to market grape juice from organically grown grapes

* Grass Run Farm, Inc.—Dorchester, $209,724  for working capital to market organic beef

* Levi Lyle—Indianola, $16,972 for working capital to market aronia juice for its healthy characteristics

* Michele & David Miller—Mount Vernon, $10,500 to assess feasibility of marketing chocolates created from agricultural products

* Wilrona, LLC—Fireside Winery, Marengo, $90,750 for working capital to market wine to broader regions

* Green Visions, Inc.—Dyersville, $98,312 for working capital to market organic pork products

* Juan O'Sullivan's Gourmet Salsa Co.—Cumming, $119,444 for working capital to market organic salsa

* Iowla, LLC—Cherokee, $300,000 for working capital to market organic and canola products

* Riceville Meats, LLC—Riceville, $21,850 for working capital to market locally produced meat products

* Timber Ridge Dairy—Cedar Rapids, $32,000           to assess feasibility of processing 100% of milk into farmer-processed possibly organic dairy products

* Frisian Farms—Oskaloosa, $69,000 to assess feasibility of adding value to milk used in cheese.

Grants are available to independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Two types of grants are available, planning grants and grants for working capital.

Planning grants can be used for feasibility studies, marketing and/or business plans. Grant funds can be used to pay consultants who guide producers through the development processes. The planning activities must be related to the marketing of a value-added product. Working capital grants can be used by new or existing businesses to pay qualifying operating expenses of new ventures just starting out.

Contact USDA Rural Development for more information

You can go online to for further information about Value Added Producer Grants.  For general information about USDA Rural Development programs call 515-284-4663, stop by a local USDA Rural Development office or visit

Eleven USDA Rural Development offices in Iowa serve the 1.9 million Iowans living in rural areas.  Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly. USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver quality programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in home ownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure.

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