Over $1.3 Million Investment Expands Markets and Creates Jobs in Washington State
OLYMPIA, Nov. 27, 2023 – USDA is making investments that will strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains, expand markets for agricultural producers, and lower food costs.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping expand businesses and supporting more robust American supply chains,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investments in agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs will create better economic opportunities that bolster food supply chains across the country and increase competition—a key pillar of Bidenomics. This will result in more affordable prices and choices for consumers, as well as more opportunities and revenue for farmers.”
In Washington State, 10 businesses in eight counties will receive grants totaling over $1.38 million.
- In Whatcom County, True North Meats will receive a $15,000 grant to increase the value of their locally raised and processed meat by creating marketing content and services and to build a website.
- In San Juan County, Midnights Farm will receive a $48,037 grant to reach more people and different markets (wholesale and individuals). The grant and matching funds will cover the costs of processing, marketing, and administrative tasks.
- In Okanogan
- Willow Brook Farm will receive a $49,000 grant to turn raw ingredients (hot peppers and chilis) into hot sauces. The grant and matching funds will cover the costs of processing labor, supplies, and advertising.
- River Valley Organics (George Otte's family orchard) will receive a $49,994 grant to create better packaging, market their fruit products better, create a better website, acquire packaging materials, and keep fruit fresh during transport.
- In Thurston County, US Rake Force will receive a $75,000 grant to build a biochar soil amendment (fine-grained charcoal made from a slow-burning process of plant matter, wood, and agricultural by-products in a low-oxygen pyrolysis process) business. They will use the money to build a business plan to detail how they can and will create a successful biochar soil amendment business. This includes how they will market the business and what the overall business strategy will be.
- In Pierce County:
- Clean Food Farm (Larry Bailey) will receive a $147,270 grant to switch his business from U-pick to selling to retail stores. The grant and matching funds will be used for processing, marketing, and administrative costs.
- Pink Moon Farm will receive a $250,000 grant to turn their raw vegetables (carrots, heirloom tomatoes, and kale) into products for sale locally. The grant and matching funds will cover the costs of processing labor, packaging, supplies, marketing, and distribution expenses.
- In Yakima County, Tapenade Inc. (Wilridge Distillery) will receive a $250,000 grant to expand the market for their distillery products.
- In Island County, Lesedi Farm will receive a $250,000 grant to turn fava beans into pesto sauce and expand the product to new markets. The project covers the costs of labor for processing, packaging, marketing, and delivering the sauce.
- In Whatcom County, Osprey Hill Farm will receive a $250,000 grant to expand the market of their local, corn-free, soy-free, and GMO-free turkeys. The funds will cover processing, marketing, and administration of their expansion plans.
“The Biden administration is investing in the creativity and ingenuity of these small farmers,” said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State. “They are creating economic prosperity and resiliency across rural Washington. Strengthening the bottom line for small producers expands opportunities, generates jobs, and can help raise up a whole community.”
USDA is making these investments through the Value Added Producer Grants Program, which 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, a grape farmer may use funding to produce and market wine.
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/wa