Ag Industry Venture Offers Grants to Missouri Dairies

New grant program aims to help dairies during tough times.

Published on: Feb 13, 2009

A new grant program for dairies needing a boost during these tough economic times is now in place in Missouri. The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, housed at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, has entered into a private/public venture with the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Dairy Growth Council to fund, implement and administer a Dairy Business Planning Grant. The goal is to encourage Missouri dairy farmers to facilitate startup, improve profitability, increase production and encourage modernization and expansion of dairy farms in Missouri.

"Gov. Nixon has tasked us as an industry to work together to find new ways to help Missouri's farmers make ends meet through tough economic times. Private/public ventures such as these grants are important to the long-term economic success of Missouri's dairy industry," says Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "Ninety-nine percent of all dairy farms in the U.S. are family-owned and operated. These business planning grants will help Missouri's family farmers as they seek innovative ways to grow and further develop their existing operations while also assisting those that want to enter the dairy industry."

Grant proceeds may be used to contract with a qualified dairy business planning professional to develop a business plan for the startup, modernization, expansion or increased production of a Missouri dairy farm. The dairy planning grant shall not exceed $5,000 or finance more than 90% of the cost of the business plan, whichever is less. The Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Dairy Growth Council will provide the funding for this grant; MASBDA will implement and administer the grant program.

To contact MASBDA, call (573) 751-2129 or masbda@mda.mo.gov. For more information on the grant, visit www.mda.mo.gov/masbda/grants.htm.