$30 million now available for value-added producer grants; deadline July 7

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

veg-prodApproximately $30 million in funding is now available to help agricultural producers conduct value-added activities for fiscal year 2015, said Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. But, adds Dr. English, the application deadline is July 7.

The main objective of the grant program is to help independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives and majority-controlled producer-based businesses begin or expand value-added activities. The activities should relate to the processing and/or marketing of value-added agriculture products, added Dr. English. The goal is to create new products, create or expand markets and increase producer income.

The grants have a matching funds requirement of 50 percent, but matching funds do not have to be in cash; eligible in-kind contributions will be accepted, said Dr. English.

Funding priority will be given to beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers and ranchers, and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and operators of small and medium-sized farms and ranches. “Ten percent of available funds is reserved for beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers” said Dr. English.

For more information, contact your area Extension associate: Alex Cole, (870) 630-2005, eaec@sbcglobal.net – St. Francis, Crittenden, Cross, Woodruff, Jackson and Mississippi counties; Arlanda Jacobs, (870) 714-5531, aj72342@gmail.com – Lee, Phillips, Monroe and Arkansas counties; Travis Collins, (870) 355-7007, cityofeudora.collins@gmail.com – Chicot, Desha and Drew counties; Kandi Williams, (870) 903-8663, klwilliams42@gmail.com – Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Sevier and Miller counties; and Stephan Walker, multi-county agent, (870) 575-7237, walkers@uapb.edu – Jefferson, Lincoln, Desha, Pulaski and Lonoke counties. Those elsewhere can call Dr. English at (870) 575-7246.

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