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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Rural Businesses Produce and Market Value-Added Products

Gail Thuner
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers (AIC). AICs provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to market or produce value-added products.

USDA is making $8 million available under the Agriculture Innovation Center Program. AICs may use the grants to provide assistance to help agricultural producers develop and market value-added products as follows:

  • business development services
  • market development services
  • financial advisory services
  • process development services, such as engineering, production system scale ups, scale production assessments and systems development
  • organizational assistance, including legal and technical advisory services
  • value chain coordination
  • product development, excluding research and development
  • grants of $5,000 or less to agricultural producers for the services listed above
  • center start-up and operation

Recipients must provide matching funds of least one-third of the project budget. 

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, commercial organizations, local governments, state governments, Indian Tribes, and institutions of higher education. Applications for grants must be submitted through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 5, 2023. For more information, see page 74392 of the Dec. 5, 2022 Federal Register.

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