Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager urges farmers and business owners to apply for $18 million in grants to help them add value to the commodities they produce. While attending the Value-Added Agriculture Day during the 2009 South Dakota State Fair, Tonsager said, "We want to ensure that producers file their applications promptly so they can potentially take advantage of the USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grants program." The national application period closes on Nov. 30, 2009.
USDA plans to award planning grants of up to $100,000 and working capital grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that use existing agricultural products in non-traditional ways or merge agricultural products with technology in creative ways.
Applicants must provide matching funds equal to the amount of the grant requested. Paper applications must be submitted to the Rural Development state office in the state where the project will be located.