May 12, 2016

Nearly $1 million in Value-Added Agriculture Grants Awarded to Missouri Agriculture

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The Missouri Department of Agriculture today announced 13 Missouri agricultural groups have been awarded grants totaling $986,733 to assist them in adding value to Missouri agricultural products. Two projects will facilitate the use of local crops in lunches and snacks for Missouri school children, and 11 projects will look at the feasibility of converting Missouri agriculture products into more valuable end products such as branded seed, dairy and meat products, and ready-to-eat products, including meal kits. 

Since 1999, the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, has awarded value-added grants to foster new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. The grants are funded from the sale of tax credits.  

Two Missouri projects received funding from the Farm to School Value-Added Agriculture Grant Program to assist them in accessing resources and processing locally grown agricultural products for use in schools within the state. Eligible expenses include items such as coolers, freezers, washing, bagging and packing equipment and professional services for Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Analysis (HACCP) plan development. 

This program, authorized by Senate Bill 672 and Senate Bill 701 during the 2014 legislative session, and signed by Governor Nixon, provides businesses the opportunity to place locally grown agricultural products in Missouri school meals and snacks, while at the same time strengthening local farming economies.  

The maximum individual grant is $200,000, with the applicant required to provide a 10 percent cash match toward the eligible expenses. The two grants were awarded to:

• Red Ridge Farms, Oak Grove ($93,686) - Establish an aggregation and processing facility serving local farmers who sell local produce into Fresh Farms HQ, the Greater Kansas City Food Hub, which will provide local foods to the Independence School District. 

• Idea Farm, LLC, Mansfield ($189,999) - Update and retrofit a commercial kitchen in a former hospital building to aggregate a variety of fruit and vegetable products from local producers and process up to 300,000 pounds of food during the course of a school year for students in southern and southwest Missouri. 

Eleven Value-Added Agriculture grants totaling $703,048 were awarded to Missouri businesses to foster new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. This funding can be used for business planning purposes such as feasibility studies, marketing plans, business plans and legal assistance, but cannot be used for capital expenditures, salaries, or operating funds.  

The maximum individual grant for both programs is $200,000. Applicants are required to provide a 10 percent cash match toward eligible expenses.  These grants are funded by contributions made to MASBDA through the purchase of tax credits from the Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit.

The 11 Value-Added Agriculture grants, which range in amounts from $22,500 to $198,272, were awarded to:

• Non-GMO Milk Steering Committee, Mountain Grove ($42,946) - Fund a feasibility study exploring non-GMO certified milk production and marketing. 

• Missouri Specialty Meats, Gallatin ($22,500) - Fund a marketing analysis, business and legal planning services necessary to establish a distribution network for a value-added meal kit. 

• Chef Chadwick, LLC, Springfield ($54,450) - Fund a feasibility study, marketing plan, and business plan for a shelf-stable, value-added food item produced from local vegetables and marketed to schools and institutions.  

• Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Jefferson City ($74,354) - Fund a feasibility study focused on the marketing and branding of identity-preserved soybean seed varieties developed using funds provided by Missouri soybean farmers.

• Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Jefferson City ($72,432) - Fund a statewide marketing study focused on the development of an identity-preserved soybean variety offering significant nutritional benefits.  

• Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Jefferson City ($113,000) - Fund an engineering feasibility study and a marketing/business plan focused on discovering the capabilities, capacity and functionality of the Missouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, Mo. 

• Henry Meat Company, DeSoto ($17,877) - Develop a business plan with the intent of expanding the availability and affordability of local meat products by direct marketing to local consumers.

• The Grove Salsa Company, Springfield ($60,390) - Fund a feasibility study, marketing plan and business plan to ascertain full market and production feasibility for a value-added product utilizing locally-sourced produce. 

• Borgman’s Dairy Farm, Holden ($23,760) - Fund a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of the manufacture, sale and distribution of value-added goat milk products. 

• Crabtree Farm, Inc., Montreal ($23,067) - Fund a feasibility study exploring multiple aspects involved in producing and marketing additional value-added products to schools, businesses, and food-hubs.  

• St. James Winery, St. James ($198,272) - Fund a feasibility study evaluating sustainable production technology. 

All grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Applications are scored based on their economic development potential for the agriculture industry, credibility and merit, probability of near-term commercialization and practical application of project results, source and level of matching funds and the likelihood of a project’s success.   

For more information on the Missouri Farm to School Value-Added Grant Program, Missouri Value-Added Grant Program and other MASBDA programs call (573) 751-2129, email or visit the Department of Agriculture’s website,

Note:  Contact information for each grant recipient is available upon request.