Deshler business gets $65K grant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 04 May 2013 08:23
WASHINGTON - In a recent release Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that more than 110 agricultural producers from 43 states will receive nearly $16.8 million in grants from the 2012 round of the Value-Added Producer Grants program.
Deshler Farmer Elevator Co was the only Ohio operation to receive one of the grants, totalling $65,000
The Value-Added Producer Grants program awards competitive grants that facilitate the creation and development of value-added, producer-owned businesses. Individual independent agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, producer-controlled entities, organizations representing agricultural producers, and farmer or rancher cooperatives are eligible.
"The VAPG program has been a priority of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition since the program's beginning in 2000," said Ferd Hoefner, NSAC Policy Director. "We are delighted by the strong set of new projects that help improve farm income, create jobs, and develop a stronger local and regional food system."
The VAPG program addresses key barriers to small business development and consistently contributes to farmer-led job creation in rural areas. VAPG grants may be used for working capital or to develop business plans and feasibility studies for new ventures. NSAC campaigned for improvements to the program made in the 2008 Farm Bill, including a consideration of local food enterprises and food supply networks linking farm to table. Additional improvements included a program priority for assisting small and mid-size family farmers and ranchers, as well as beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
The term "value-added" describes a process whereby an agricultural commodity or product has undergone a change in physical state or was produced, marketed, or segregated (i.e., identity-preserved, eco-labeling) in a manner that enhances its value or expands the product's customer base.
Examples of value-added processes include:
• Commodity processing, either on-farm or in the local community
• Market differentiation
• Commodity segregation
• Development of mid-tier value chains
This year's awards included a grant to the Mississippi Delta Southern Black Women in Agriculture Cooperative. The Cooperative received funding to work with supply chain partners to develop, produce, and brand sweet potato products for local markets.

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