August 06, 2013

Caruthersville Seed Company Awarded Missouri Value-Added Grant

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that Pierce Seed Company of Caruthersville has been awarded $22,275 in grant funding to assist them in growing their seed business. 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 a rural community.

"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 the continued success of Missouri agriculture."

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) awarded the grant to partially finance marketing assistance and legal planning services to aid in exploring new uses for rough rice in Missouri.

Located in rural Pemiscot County, Pierce Seed Company is an entity of R.O. Pierce Farms, Inc., established 30 years ago. The Pierce family began planting and harvesting rice in 1990. Today, the family-run operation harvests cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat and up to 2,500 acres of rice. An entire division of Pierce Seed is devoted to marketing rice and providing seed-cleaning services to local producers.

This is one of 12 value-added grants awarded by MASBDA, for 2013. This year's grants ranged from $17,000 to $198,000, for a total of $808,838 awarded, all with the goal of fostering new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. Applications for the 2013 grants were due to MASBDA in December 2012.

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 percent cash match toward the eligible expenses. Recipients must also provide quarterly reports to MASBDA throughout their grant period.

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