The Missouri Department of Agriculture recently awarded more than $800,000 of grants for agricultural businesses. The funding comes from the Missouri Value-Added Grant Program, which provides grants for projects that advance the development of Missouri agricultural products while aiding the economy of rural communities.
"These grants do more than just help expand businesses, they provide Missouri producers with the tools to add value to their agricultural products and the rural communities which support them," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Missouri's small agri-business owners have been invaluable in growing Missouri's agriculture economy and ensuring Missouri agriculture's continued success. We congratulate these individuals and groups on taking steps to move their businesses and their communities forward."
The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) awards the value-added grants to promote the development, processing and marketing of new or expanded uses of Missouri agricultural products that will also aid rural economic development. The grants are funded from the sale of tax credits and can be used for business planning purposes, such as feasibility studies and marketing plans.
The maximum individual grant is $200,000, with the applicant required to provide a 10% cash match toward the eligible expenses. This year's grants ranged from $17,000 to $198,000, for a total of $808,838 awarded. The twelve grants were awarded to:
*Heckemeyer Farms, Sikeston - for technical and marketing assistance to establish a sweet sorghum syrup processing operation.
*McKaskle Family Farms, LLC, Braggadocio - for the business plan and facility design for a farm-scale rice mill and popcorn bagging facility.
*Missouri BioProduct Producers Group, Burlington Junction - to conduct a market analysis, system assessment, financial and business model development study for a producer-led specialized fiber and agricultural feedstock supply network.