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USDA Announces Rural South Dakota Investments to Support Local Businesses, Create Good-Paying Jobs and Strengthen the Economy

Name
Tammi Schone
City
Huron
Release Date
Feb 07, 2022

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) South Dakota Rural Development Acting State Director Hally Witte announced fiscal year 2021 investments to support local businesses and strengthen the rural economy.  

 “This USDA funding will provide financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth which is intended to help improve the quality of life in rural communities by enhancing economic opportunities,” said Witte.

The funding announced today will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout South Dakota. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. And it will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce.

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

 You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition.

For example:

  • Desjarlais Farms, LLC in Sturgis was awarded $49,999 for working capital to pay for day-to-day processing expenses, supplies, and marketing related to value-added wine products. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness. 
  • DakotaGro, LLC in Platte was awarded $75,000 for working capital to pay for a marketing study to be developed by a third party, Axiom Marketing. The study will be used to determine opportunities, market gaps, and strategies for their proposed compost product. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness.
  • Back Forty Beef, LLC in Pierpont was awarded $49,999 for working capital to pay for day-to-day processing expenses, supplies, and marketing related to value-added beef products. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness. 

The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to help microenterprises startup and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund; and to provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs.

For example:

  • Grow SD based in Sisseton was awarded $36,337 to provide technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.
  • NESDEC based in Sisseton was awarded $16,297 to provide technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.

The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. 

For example:

  • Value Added Ag Development Center, Inc. in Pierre was awarded $200,000 as a technical assistance investment to assist both new and existing coops in adding value to ag products, along with assisting businesses in doing the same.

Background:

These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combatting the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

 USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.