Raspberries are Ripe for New Product Development with USDA Grant

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Jamie Welch Jaro
(801) 524-4324
Image of Cornaby's raspberry fields

Dave Cornaby’s family farm has been in his family for 120 years, just not always in the same location. No matter where they went, the Cornaby family had a knack for growing plants. “People can grow gardens, but they can’t grow the way we grow,” said Dave Cornaby.

Today the family owns a 20-acre plot of land, the same land they owned when the town of Salem, Utah, was settled. On that land, the family grows the raspberries, peppers, and other ingredients to make their products. Cornaby’s is a business name synonymous with fresh, beautiful red raspberries, unique preserves, and other products innovated by members of the Cornaby family.

In 2014, USDA Rural Development provided a $75,000 grant to help Dave Cornaby explore more opportunities to transform his berries into marketable products. The funding is provided through USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program, the purpose of which is to help agricultural producers explore new product and marketing opportunities. The end goals are to increase producer income and support local food systems. “A farmer doesn’t have a lot of time to do what he knows how to do, let alone try something new,” said Cornaby, “Raspberries must be sold within four days of picking, so the Value-Added (program) is essential. It allows us to investigate, leverage, and explore different avenues.” With this round of funding, Cornaby’s hopes to develop a dried raspberry that can be coated in chocolate and sold as a specialty item. Cornaby’s products, including their fresh fruit, honey, preserves, and other items, are sold in regional stores and at farmer’s markets.

Coming up with new uses for their raspberries is a way of preserving the Cornaby family farm. Many neighboring farms have been sold to developers over recent years, resulting in the 20-acre raspberry farm being surrounded by homes. “I’d rather see this fertile ground be used to grow raspberries than houses, so I want us to last,” said Cornaby.

Fast Facts

Obligation Amount$75,000.00
Date of ObligationAugust 2014
Congressional District3
Senator's Last NamesHatch, Lee