STEVENS POINT, Wis., Nov. 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa announced today that USDA is making a $1,299,922 investment that will expand markets for agricultural producers and strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains in five counties.
“These investments are being made in rural businesses across the state whose products range from timber to produce, eggs and pork to wine and distilled spirits,” said Lassa. “The Value-Added Producer Grants announced today will strengthen the supply chain and grow the local economy. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the USDA is creating better economic opportunities that spur competition and bolster food supply chains, resulting in more affordable prices for consumers and more opportunities for farmers,” Lassa said. [Audio: Mp3, 29 seconds, 694KB]
- Red Door Family Farm in Marathon County will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant to increase sales of its produce to new customers. The project will increase their customer base by over 600 customers.
- Lakeshore Forest Products in Manitowoc County will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant to provide working capital to process hardwood logs into kiln-dried hardwood lumber. Funds will also be used for marketing to increase their customer base.
- Chateau Saint Croix LLC, a small winery in Polk County, will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant to increase direct-to-consumer sales of its locally grown and produced wines, expanding their customer base by over 1,600 customers.
- Ledgerock Distillery LLC in Fond du Lac County will use a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant to process corn and wheat into high-end craft spirits including bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and gin. Funds will also be used for marketing to increase their customer base to over 6,200 customers.
- Three Brothers Farm LLC, a small farming operation in Waukesha County, will use a $249,962 Value Added Producer Grant to increase sales of certified organic, pasture-raised eggs to new customers to over 790 customers.
- May Hill Farm LLC, a beginning farming operation in Fond du Lac County, will use a $49,960 Value Added Producer Grant to process hogs into whole/half hogs, individual cuts, pork sausage products, pork subscription boxes, and high end cut sales to restaurants and retailers. Funds will also be used for marketing to increase their customer base by 194 customers.
USDA is making investments in 185 projects worth nearly $196 million to create new and better market opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.
This announcement was made as part of the inaugural meeting of the new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience which is part of President Biden’s agenda to bring down costs for American families and increase investment in America’s supply chains critical to economic and national security. The funding builds on prior investments made by USDA under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to increase competition, enhance independent meat and poultry and other diversified food processing capacity, strengthen local and regional food systems, and expand domestic, innovative fertilizer production.
USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are making these investments through six programs designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.
The Value-Added Producer Grants Program helps farmers and ranchers venture into new markets by adding value to their bio-based products that will increase their revenue. Funds may be used to process or market these products. For example, an olive farmer may use funding to produce and market olive oil.
Rural Business Development Grants assist with economic development planning and/or the financing or expansion of rural businesses by providing technical assistance and training for small rural businesses.
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees help improve rural economic health by increasing access to business capital, allowing commercial lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer affordable financing to eligible rural businesses. This program was authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supported investments in infrastructure for food processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, aggregation and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse and secure U.S. food supply chain through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, lend the funding to local businesses to support projects that will create and keep jobs in rural areas.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees 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 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.
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.