USDA's Rural Development Agency announced last week that it has awarded 9 grants totaling $1,433,500 to Iowa farmers and farm-related businesses through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.
"When we originally put these grants in place, we saw immediate returns on the investment in our rural communities," says Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. "Value added agriculture creates jobs and opportunities that are often difficult to find. I'm excited to see these funds going to producers to help turn their products into marketable goods."
The Value-Added Producer Grants Program encourages independent producers of agricultural commodities to process their raw products into marketable products, thereby increasing farm income. Grassley created the Value-Added Grant program by offering an amendment to crop insurance legislation that passed in 2000 and then he worked to expand the program in the 2002 Farm Bill.
Program funds various types of projects
The latest round of grant funds from USDA's Rural Development Agency will be distributed as follows:
* Asoyia in Iowa City will receive a $300,000 grant to help pay for working capital expenses associated with marketing Mid-Oleic Ultra Low Lin soybean oil.
* Batey in Mt. Pleasant will receive a $142,500 grant to help pay for working capital expenses associated with marketing wood pellets.
* Delaware County Meats in Dyersville will receive a $68,000 grant to help pay for working capital expenses associated with marketing meat products to hospitals, nursing homes and colleges in Iowa.
* Homeland Energy Solutions in Riceville will receive a $300,000 grant to help pay for working capital expenses associated with marketing ethanol.
* Iowa Great Lake Nursery and Floral in Spirit Lake will receive a $100,000 grant to help determine the feasibility of turning wind into electricity to provide energy to an ammonia production facility.
* Maple River Energy in Holstein will receive a $300,000 grant to help pay for working capital expenses associated with marketing bio-diesel from soybeans.
* Sirroco in Pomeroy will receive a $100,000 grant to help assess the feasibility of generating electricity from wind.
* West Wind Energy in Fort Dodge will receive a $98,000 grant to help assess the feasibility of marketing wind-generated electricity.
* Wide River Winery in Clinton will receive a $25,000 grant to help market wine produced from organically grown grapes.