Thursday, May 02, 2013

USDA awards grants to rural businesses and agricultural producers to create jobs, new products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded 110 grants, ranging from $9,000 to $300,000, to help agriculture producers and rural businesses create new jobs and develop new products, the agency announced Wednesday. One grant awards $92,000 to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm & Ranch Enterprise of Colorado to help the tribe market and distribute Indian cornmeal products (Photo from Facebook: Harvesting corn on the tribal farm)

Another grant, for the Glenmary Gardens in Bristol, Va., gives the business $213,000 to expand the processing and marketing of locally grown fruits and vegetables into jellies, ice cream, and flavored syrups, a press release states. Owner Michael Richard, left, "cannot purchase equipment, but the money can be used for working capital and marketing activities," James Shea reports for the Bristol Herald Courier. He hopes to lease space and build his own production facility. Ultimately, he wants to open a small country store that sells local products." (BHC photo by David Crigger)

Grants of $300,000 were also awarded to Old Wood LLC in Las Vegas, N.M., to expand sales of its engineered-panel and wood-block flooring made from small-diameter trees, and $33,850 to Kentucky Specialty Grains, a farmer-owned company in southern Kentucky near the Tennessee border, that explores the feasibility of soybean production, processing, and marketing initiatives. The complete list of recipients can be seen here.

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