by Whitney Flach
Six Iowa-Based Businesses received $571,295 in Value-Added Producer Grants to help develop new agricultural products, and expand sales.
Yesterday, USDA Rural Development awarded $45 million in VAPG grants to 325 rural businesses nationwide to help them grow, diversify and create jobs in rural America by turning raw commodities into value-added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products.
The grants can be used for a wide range of purposes to develop new agricultural products or additional markets for existing ones. They can support local and regional food systems, further the development of the growing bioeconomy, and finance the distribution of local and regional products. Veterans, socially-disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, and farmer and rancher cooperatives are given special priority.
Also receiving VAPG funding in Iowa as part of yesterday’s announcement include:
- Dan and Debbie’s Creamery Inc. -Ely, Iowa – $151,544 in grant funds to assist the business with product expansion and marketing efforts to create new customer-interaction opportunities.
- Batey, LTD. in Mount Pleasant, Iowa – $49,900 in grant funds will be used to help process woodchips into food-grade pellets.
• Great River Maple, LLC – Garnavillo, Iowa – $49,520 in grant funds will be used to help package and market new products such as organic maple syrup, bourbon maple syrup, maple cream and maple sugar.
• Siouxland Energy Cooperative – Location, Iowa – $250,000 in grant funds will be used to help install technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn grown by its producer members.
• Kirk and Jolene Pisel – Gilmore City, Iowa – $49,575 in grants funds will be used to help create a new product, brand and markets for Pisel Farm ground beef.
• North Iowa Fresh, LLC – Belmond, Iowa – $20,765 in grant funds will be used to develop a feasibility study to assess various ways of connecting local producers with consumers
Funding of each award announced is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
“We are very happy to be a partner with all the businesses and communities we serve as they work hard to make investments that have long-lasting impacts to help improve the quality of life for rural residents,” Menner said.