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Thursday May 21 2009 PRESTON M N C~rculat~on IDMA) 1 600 1153) Type ( ~ r e ~ i e n c ~ j ~ : e w s p a ~(W) & Page: 8 Keyword: Center For Rural Affairs

Deadline to apply for Value Added Producer Grants quickly approaching T h e U.S. D c p a r t n ~ e n t of produce. T l ~ i sresults in a greater Agriculture announced recently p o r t i o ~of~ revetlues derived from that Monday. July 6. is the dead- t l ~ evalue-added activity being a d c to the producer of line to apply for Value Added ~ ~ ~ available Producer Grants. A special rcservr t l ~ cproduct. T l ~ eCenter for Rural is gearing up to help prois set aside for heginni~~g f r ~ r ~ ~ ~ Affairs ers l ~ possible during and ranchers and socially disad- ducers as n ~ u c as vantaged f a r n ~ e r sand r a ~ ~ c h e r s . the application period by operatThe deadline to apply for rescl.ved ing a Far111 Bill Helpline where ~ d producers call call in a ~ receive funds is Monday, June 22. assistance in accessing the Value "Any farmer or r a ~ ~ c l needing ~er planning or working cupitcll ~ ' L I I I ~Added S Producer Grants Program. to move their value-added ideas Agricultural producers. busiforward should check out the nesses owned by a majority of Value-Added Producer Grants agricultural producers, and organiprogram," c o ~ n ~ n c n t c T d r a c i zations representing agricultural Bruckner of the C h k r for b r a 4 producers are eligible to apply for Value Added Producer Grants for Affairs. "Individuals intereslcd in apply- business planning or working caping for a Value-Added Producer ital expenses associated wit11 marGrant should not hesilale as the keting a value-added agricultural deadline is quickly approaching product. Agricultural producers include farmers, ranchers, loggers, and the process can be extensive." agricultural harvesters and fisherhas USDA Rural Develop~i~ent $18 n~illionavailable this funding men that engage in the production cycle to devclop value-added agri- o r harvesting of an agricultural ss Ten per- con~modity. culture b u s i ~ ~ c vc~~tures. "USDA's Value Added cell[ of that is set-aside specifically for beginning and/or socially Producer Grants help address ecodisadv:tntaged farmers and rancll- nomic decline and poverty in rural a r e a s by helping f a r m e r s and ers. s premium markets r2ccordi11gto Bruckner. the pro- r a ~ ~ c h e raccess ~ I . ~ I IW;IS I created to help produc- with new strategies like cooperad customer base for tive marketing of grass fed meats ers e x p a ~ ~tl~eir t l ~ eproducts or con~n~odities they

o r processing of organic g r a i l ~ s into specialty breads and pastas marthrough grants for pla~~ning. keting o r feasibility studies o r working capital." c o ~ ~ ~ n ~ e ~ ~ t e d Bruckner. ~ ~the For more i n f o r n ~ a t i oon Value-Added Producer G r a n t s P r o g r a ~and ~ ~ l ~ o wto apply. visit www.rurdev.usda.govlrhslcoops1~~

adg.htm. O r c o ~ ~ t a c M t ike Heavrin. Program Cooperative D e v e l o p m e n t M a n a g e r at the Center for Rural Affairs at (302) 6 8 7 - 1 103. ext. 1008. 1nikeh9cfra.org or Traci Bruckner. Assistant Director for the Rural Policy Program ar the Center for Rurul Affairs at (302) 687-2 103, ext. 1016. ~racib@cfru.org. T h e V a l u e Added Producer Grunt is not the only program co\.ered by the Center's Far111 Bill Helpline. Assistance is also availa b l e for the C o n s e r v a t i o n S t e w a r d s h i p Program. t l ~ e Cooperative Conservatio~~ P a r t n e r s l ~ i p s I ~ ~ i t i a t i v e ,the Environmental Quality Incentives Propram Organic Initiative and a host of Beginning Farmer and Rancher provisior~s. For m o r e information visit www.cfru.org.

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