Resource Guide Now Available for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses; Funding Now Available for Meat and Poultry Processors
STEVENS POINT, Wisc., March 2, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa today announced the Department is investing $250,000 to help with job creation and business expansion in Superior, Wisconsin.
“Today’s investment shows how important Value-Added Producer Grants are in strengthening Wisconsin’s food supply chain,” Lassa said. “As President Biden said in his State of the Union address, ‘instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.’ That is exactly what these grants do. They help rural ag producers and small food supply businesses be innovative, grow their business and customer base, and together this builds a better America.” [audio actuality / .wav / 4.43 MB / 24 seconds]
What began in 1908 as a family run strawberry and potato farm, is now the orchard, nursery, and greenhouse known as Superior View Farms located in the Bayfield area of Lake Superior. They will use a $250,000 grant to process, market, and deliver hard apple cider. This investment will help to increase the customer base by 4,000 people, increase sales by nearly $910,000 and create two new job opportunities.
Funding for today’s investment was provided through USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant Program and will help rural businesses hire more workers and reach new customers. Projects funded through USDA’s Business Programs open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. The program’s investments help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers create or save jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce.
Today’s investment is part of a larger statewide announcement of 19 investments totaling $37.4 million recently made by Lassa, and a nationwide announcement made by U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack who highlighted 751 investments totaling $1.4 billion. USDA is funding these investments through eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, which provided record-breaking investments in fiscal year 2021, and the B&I CARES Act Program, which has helped create thousands of jobs with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Programs also include Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grants, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, Intermediary Relending Program and Value-Added Producer Grants.
These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save more than 50,000 jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.
USDA has created a resource guide that features information on how rural entrepreneurs can use USDA and other Federal programs to access financing and other assistance to help start and expand their businesses. It includes tools to help them:
- expand their access to capital to create small business incubators.
- create value-added agricultural products.
- access high-speed internet to connect their businesses to national and global markets.
- cut energy costs.
- access health care resources to enhance the quality of life for their employees.
- access workforce development and training opportunities to improve their skills, products and services, and more.
Additionally, USDA recently announced that it is making up to $150 million available in grants to fund startup and expansion activities in the meat and poultry processing sector. Funding is being made available through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program.
For additional information, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the MPPEP website: www.rd.usda.gov/mppep. Questions may be submitted through the website or sent to MPPEP@usda.gov.
USDA will host an informational webinar on March 7 at 1 p.m. Central Time that will cover application requirements.
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/wi. 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 combating 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.
 Remarks of President Joe Biden – State of the Union Address as Prepared for Delivery | The White House | https://www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2022/