Grants help GA ag producers

Grants help GA ag producers
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

ATHENS, Ga. (WALB) - The federal government announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $3.2 million for working capital and market expansion of new agricultural products to 13 rural Georgia agricultural producers. Funding comes from the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

“These are our neighbors who we care about bringing local products to us that add value and quality to our lives. I believe neighbors shopping from neighbors is great for the local community and for Georgia’s economy. A phrase that continually comes to my mind is ‘love your neighbor – shop local’. And shopping local is so easy to do when you see the great variety of local products on the horizon with help from this program.” USDA Rural Development State Director Joyce White said.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

The grant awards are for businesses located in rural Brooks, Bulloch, Clay, Dougherty, Gilmer, Lamar, Meriwether, Peach, Seminole, Stephens, Tift, Towns, and White counties.

Background:

USDA is funding 13 projects through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, totaling $3,201,842.00. For project details see Table 1: Georgia USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant Awards FY2020.

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

Grants are awarded through a national competition. There is a 50% matching funds requirement for this grant.

Interested parties should contact Mr. Joseph Anderson in the Georgia Business Programs Division at (706) 546-2154 for information about this program including the FY2021 application timeframes and eligibility details.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Amount County Recipient Purpose
$250,000.00 Brooks THOMPSON FARMS COUNTRY CURED MEATS, LLC This Rural Development investment will be used as working capital for the Thompson Farms Ready-to-eat pulled pork product entering a new geographic region.
$250,000.00 Bulloch HUNTER CATTLE COMPANY LLC This Rural Development investment will be used for working capital for Hunter Cattle Company’s "Air Dried Beef", individually packed and shelf-stable product.
$250,000.00 Clay WHITE OAK PASTURES, INC. This Rural Development investment will help White Oak Pastures as working capital for their new ready to eat/ready to cook canned/frozen meat and vegetables.
$250,000.00 Dougherty PRETORIA FIELDS FARMS, LLC This Rural Development investment will be used as working capital for Pretoria Fields Farms, LLC conversion from cereal rye to rye beer.
$250,000.00 Gilmer ENGELHEIM VINEYARDS LLC This Rural Development investment will be used to assist Engelheim Vineyard to expand their wine product line.
$250,000.00 Lamar THOUSAND HILLS CATTLE RANCH LLC This Rural Development investment will be used to process, package, and distribute USDA Certified Organic beef cuts.
$248,842.00 Meriwether FITZGERALD FRUIT FARMS LLC This Rural Development investment will be used for market expansion to distribute locally produced agricultural food produce.
$250,000.00 Peach LEE POPE PECANS, LLC This Rural Development investment will be used as working capital for Lee Pope Pecans, LLC flavored and packaged snack pecans in 4 oz packages in three flavors - Roasted and Salted, Cinnamon and Gingerbread
$250,000.00 Seminole AMERICAN PEANUT GROWERS GROUP, LLC This Rural Development investment will be used as working capital to convert runner peanuts to shelled and blanched runner peanuts.
$250,000.00 Stephens CURRAHEE VINEYARD & WINERY INC This Rural Development investment will be used to assist the Currahee Vineyard to expand their wine product line.
$250,000.00 Tift SOUTHERN DRAWL COTTON, LLC This Rural Development investment will be used as working capital for Southern Drawl Cotton LLC cotton sheets, pillowcases, and cotton tea towels.
$203,000.00 Towns CRANE CREEK VINEYARDS INC This Rural Development investment will be used to assist Crane Creek Vineyard to expand their wine product line.
$250,000.00 White HABERSHAM VINTNERS, INC. This Rural Development investment will be used to assist Habersham Vintners, Inc for their emerging market to produce and distribute a new carbonated wine product.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.