LINCOLN, Neb., March 27, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Nebraska Kate Bolz today announced that USDA is making $31 million in grants available to help farmers and ranchers access new and better markets by adding more value to their products.
USDA is making the grants available under the Value-Added Producer Grants program. The grants help agricultural producers market new products, create marketing opportunities, and increase their incomes through value-added activities.
“The Value-Added Producer Grant program provides Nebraska entrepreneurs and business leaders with additional support to take our Nebraska-grown agricultural products to the next level and the new markets, helping our state feed the world,” explains Bolz.
Eligible applicants include independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. The maximum award for a planning grant is $75,000. The maximum award for a working capital grant is $250,000.
For example, in 2022, USDA Rural Development provided grant funds to The Milk House in Gothenburg, Nebraska to market its dairy products such as ice cream, butter, and yogurt.
The funding may be used for planning activities or working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. Planning activities may include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans. Working capital expenses may include costs associated with processing, marketing, advertising, inventory, and salaries. The maximum award for a planning grant is $75,000. The maximum award for a working capital grant is $250,000.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.