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Success Stories

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Ruben Lopez Opening Smoker to show meat cooking inside.

Commercial Kitchen Fires Texas Barbecue up to Next Level

When Ruben Lopez and his wife Katherine moved from Texas to Price, Utah a few years ago, they didn’t have plans to open a restaurant. The idea began with a question Ruben posted on Facebook. “How would y'all like some Texas barbecue out here?” His query received hundreds of… [Read More]
Smiling woman standing in a shop with honey and honey-themed products on shelves on the walls and on racks.

Entrepreneurs and RD: a Match Meant to Bee

Mark and Linda Graf have a crew of over 400,000 bees in over 100 hives working for them near Emerson, Nebraska. The Buzz, their store on Main Street, sells local honey and related products.   The Grafs are shining examples of entrepreneurship in rural America. Linda describes… [Read More]
Photos of cooperative local produce

Buying local made easy - Yellowstone Valley Food Hub

The Yellowstone Valley Food Hub (YVFH) is a cooperative of farmers and ranchers that came together three years ago to increase the community's access to local food. It started as an online ordering platform and quickly grew into an enduring business. Today it provides the… [Read More]
Members of the Real Pickle Co-op stand on the roof of the building next to the new solar panels on a sunny day. Many are wearing coats and it looks chilly outside.

Solar: It’s a “Big Dill” for Real Pickles Cooperative

As USDA Rural Development (RD) highlights National Cooperative Month, one worker owned co-op in Massachusetts stands out as a model for sustainability, collaboration, and local food system resiliency. The saying goes “it’s not easy being green.” But for Real Pickles in… [Read More]
Four smiling men stand together on a dock next to the water. There is a building on the shore in the background.

Preserving Seafood Heritage by Bringing in the Next Generation

McClellanville is a small town in rural South Carolina whose economy relies heavily on commercial fishing and seafood production. Unlike other coastal towns in South Carolina, McClellanville has kept its working waterfront from developing into high-end residential property,… [Read More]
People holding bison jerkey

Roam Free Ranch Uses USDA To Expand Markets

Roam Free Ranch (https://goroamfree.com) is a 16,000 acre grass-fed bison ranch in Hot Springs, Montana.  In 2020, Roam Free Ranch utilized a USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant to secure funding to help scale production capacity and expand their markets.  With the… [Read More]
A baby in a basket sits on a table next to a board game and a wine glass. Behind them, family and friends gather on green grass beneath a blue sky for what appears to be a picnic or some kind of gathering with tables and umbrellas.

RiverCrest Ranch Finds Community, Opportunity in USDA Grant

RiverCrest Ranch has always been a place worth sharing. Nestled in Oregon's Applegate Valley, the ranch's 11 and a half acres still hold the remnants of an 1870s hydraulic gold mining operation and "the best swimming hole on the Applegate River," according to owner Cathy Rodgers… [Read More]
Woman in front of cows

From Cow to Cone, Wright's Dairy Farm Sees Delicious Success

For over a hundred years, Wright's Dairy Farm, in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, has been providing the community with fresh dairy products. The five generation farm has been growing and innovating, adding a retail bakery specializing in whipped cream cakes, custard desserts,… [Read More]
Gullah Farmers Processing Room

New Facility Will Help Small Provide a Means for Small Farmers to Package, Store and Distribute their Produce

Larry Harris and his son, Julian Harris of Harris Farms, LLC often struggled to find a way to package and distribute their fresh produce and increase their sales. Fortunately for them and many other farmers, USDA Rural Development (RD) assisted in finding a solution to this… [Read More]

USDA Grant Boosts Heritage Breed Livestock Producer

Farm thrives, bolsters other local farmers during coronavirus pandemic   For Shelly Oswald, owner of Old Time Farm in Stoneboro, Pa., the novel coronavirus pandemic illustrates the vital role small, local agriculture producers play in safeguarding food security during a… [Read More]