Washington County producers and producer-owned businesses who want to add value to the commodities they produce on their farms have federal money available to them. State Director of Rural Development Bill Menner says value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage. He says grants can be used for planning that establishes a viable value-added marketing opportunity, or for working funds to operate a value-added business.
Menner says the grants can help with the development of local foods systems and can spur the economy by supporting local producers. The deadline to apply for the Value Added Producer Grant Program is August 29th.
Since 2001, Rural Development has awarded over $21 million in grant funds through the program, to businesses such as wineries, branded meat marketers, as well as pork, cheese, and milk processors.