The USDA has issued a total of $25 million in Rural Development Value Added Grants to 247 businesses in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Micronesia. Stan Gruszynski is USDA Rural Development Director in Wisconsin, he says the purpose of the grants is to create jobs in rural America. The idea is instead of shipping raw commodities to another state or country for processing, they do it at home. Grant recipients are as diverse as agriculture itself, everything from specialty cheese to wood products and even pheasants.
The grants are presented every year; Gruszynski encourages people to visit the USDA website and search keywords “value added grant program” to learn more and even apply. Grant recipients are eligible to apply again if they have a new idea or plan.
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