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Rural Development grants available

Officials from USDA Rural Development have announced June 22 and July 6 application deadlines for grants to assist independent agricultural producers entering into value-added activities.

Minnesota producers have received more than $13 million through the Value-Added Producer Grant program since 2001. Applications must be submitted to Rural Development's state office in St. Paul (375 Jackson St., Suite 410, St. Paul, MN 55101). More information is available at or at local Rural Development offices.

Grants are available to independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Grants can be used for planning that establishes a viable value-added marketing opportunity, or for working capital to operate a value-added business entering an emerging market.

Applications for mid-tier value chain projects, and applications submitted by beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers must be postmarked no later than June 22. All other applications must be postmarked no later than July 6.