AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ANNOUNCES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNDING TO STRENGTHEN BUSINESSES & CREATE JOBS
Washington, DC, Nov 20, 2013—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 34 organizations for grants to help rural cooperatives and small businesses expand and strengthen their capacity to serve rural citizens and communities.
“Our rural communities have incredible potential to create new jobs and expand opportunity for rural Americans,” said Vilsack. “The grants announced today will strengthen rural business development by partnering with rural co-ops and non-profits, expanding technical assistance for Main Street businesses. Today’s effort is yet another example of USDA’s comprehensive focus on revitalizing the rural economy, and it is a reminder that a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is pivotal to continue these efforts.”
Funding is being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program. The grants are being awarded to non-profit groups and higher education institutions to create and operate centers that help establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives and mutually-owned businesses. These competitively-awarded grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services. Since fiscal year 2009, the RCDG program has awarded 166 grants for approximately $33 million and has helped nearly 3,000 businesses.
Today’s announcement includes several recipients who are developing new market opportunities for rural farmers and ranchers by capitalizing on budding consumer interest in locally produced food.
For example, the Value-Added Agriculture Development Center, Inc. based in Pierre, South Dakota is being selected for a $200,000 grant to provide technical assistance to agribusinesses.
Vilsack announced more than $6 million in grants for today’s list of recipients. Funding for each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
VALUE ADDED AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT CENTER RECEIVES USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDING
Huron, SD, Aug 29, 2013—USDA Rural Development staff participated in a ceremony today, held in collaboration with Value Added Day at the South Dakota State Fair, for the Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) where South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks presented a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) in the amount of $99,950 for the VAADC to assist small and emerging private businesses in Shannon County.
“The grant funds will be used to facilitate new economic opportunities in the StrikeForce region and in a persistent poverty county. The Value Added Agriculture Development Center provides the service to capitalize on those ideas.” said Meeks. The primary goal of the StrikeForce initiative is to increase partnership with rural communities and leverage community resources in targeted, persistent poverty communities.
The mission of the South Dakota Value-Added Agriculture Development Center (Ag Center) is to foster creation of producer-owned, valued-added agriculture by offering technical and staff support and championing value-added agriculture by educating producers, lenders and the public on value-added concepts. The Ag Center provides services to potential and established rural cooperatives in South Dakota and the surrounding area.
“As South Dakota’s agribusiness development hub for nearly 15 years, we provide a menu of technical assistance services, such as business planning, siting and funding, to help rural based ventures strengthen our economy by value adding our crops and livestock,” said Randy Englund, VAADC President.
According to VAADC Executive Director Cheri Rath,”The VAADC is unique in that we provide ‘hands on’ agribusiness development services to guide our clients through startup and expansion processes.” She added, “We’re looking forward to utilizing the REBG funds to create a small agribusiness that will offer resources to increase buffalo production in one of our most remote rural areas.”
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
Blue New To Marketing and Regulatory Team
Posted by Rebecca Blue, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing & Regulatory Programs, September 9, 2011 at 4:08 PM
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Rebecca Blue, and I am the new Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. I’m excited to join the MRP team and to help contribute to the great work that they have been doing.
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to South Dakota and take part in the Value Added Ag Day at the South Dakota State Fair. I participated in a panel discussion with the South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center where we highlighted the partnership that USDA has with the Center, and how this work enhances rural communities by creating rural agribusiness. Panelists included representatives from Hanson County Oilseed Processors, Elkton Locker, and Intraglobal Biologics. I was blown away by the innovative projects that are being developed and how USDA and the Center were able to help these small and beginning rural businesses succeed. It was great to see how these projects are keeping and creating wealth right here in America, and creating good paying jobs in our rural communities.
During my visit I also traveled to Brookings, S.D. where I held a White House Rural Roundtable with students and faculty at South Dakota State University, my alma mater. It was great to hear from both of these groups and the different issues they are facing. Many of these ag students indicated that they would like to go back to the farm after graduation, however, they were concerned with access to credit and the high cost of getting started. Another concern raised was how the importance of agriculture and research seems to be slipping away and they discussed their thoughts on how this could be changed in the future.
It was such a pleasure to interact with so many great people during my visit to South Dakota. From the innovative projects that are being developed, to the great students and faculty at SDSU, it is clear that South Dakota has a bright future ahead of them.
Multi-Million dollar plant to open Monday - Plainsman
Oilseed facility construction is on track for fall operation - The Miller Press
Oilseed processing plant construction is ready to begin - The Miller Press
Milbank health oil business expanding - the Public Opinion
Furniture dealer takes on challenges of imports, finds success - SF Business Jouranl
Soybean plant opens in Aberdeen - KELOland
New Business Breaks Ground for Agri-Based Production Plant - VAADC
Soybean plant to break ground - Aberdeen American News
Soybean plant breaks ground - Aberdeen American News
Bath man’s dream becoming reality - Aberdeen American News
Bath man’s dream becoming reality - Farm Forum
Johnson Makes Farm Service Agency Recommendations to Secretary Vilsack
Includes VAADC board members Larry Birgen and Gary Duffy
South Dakota: great faces, great places — and great value-added opportunities
ValueAdded Agriculture Development Center Receives USDA Rural Development Funding
Johanns Announces $3.6 Million for 19 Rural Cooperative Development Centers
VAADC Gets Boost with Grant - Pierre Capitol Journal
Value Added Ag Day scheduled for August 30 at State Fair - SD Governors Office of Economic Development - SD Certified Beef
Fair opens five-day run Thursday with ‘Salute to Veterans,’ Value-Added Ag Day - Huron Daily Plainsman
Value Added Ag Day set at State Fair - Rapid City Journal