USDA awards $45 million in value-added producer grants |

USDA awards $45 million in value-added producer grants

The Agriculture Department announced $45 million in 325 projects through the Value-Added Producer Grant program on Thursday.

VAPG grants can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or promote additional uses for established products. Veterans, socially-disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, and farmer and rancher cooperatives are given special priority.

USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers announced the grants on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s behalf during a visit to Leffel Roots, LLC in Eau Claire, Wis.

Leffel is receiving a $22,530 value-added grant to develop and market bakery, cider and hard cider products.

Another Wisconsin recipient, Bee Forest, LLC, a logging and sawmill company in Nelson, is receiving a $250,000 grant to market, process and ship shredded bark and saw dust.

–The Hagstrom Report

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