January 04, 2010

Department of Ag Encourages Missouri Farm Operations to Apply for Value-Added Grants

Applications due Jan. 29

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) has announced that grants are available to assist farmers with business planning expenses for projects that develop, process or market Missouri agricultural goods. 

"These grants fund innovation for Missouri farmers that dream of improving upon what they do best - farm," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.  "It is important that we continue to open up new windows of opportunity for Missouri farmers to add value to their existing operations and develop new innovative ways to become profitable selling Missouri agricultural products." 

The Value-Added Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are judged on economic development potential for the agricultural industry, credibility and merit, probability of near-term commercialization and practical application of project results, source and level of matching funds and the overall economic impact of the project.  Past project examples have included meat processing facilities, renewable energy projects and new markets for fruits and native nuts.   

The grants are funded by contributions made to MASBDA through the purchase of tax credits where donors receive up to 100 percent of their contribution in tax credits.  Grant applicants are responsible for securing commitments to buy the tax credits.  The maximum individual grant is $200,000 with at least 10 percent of the available funding going to grant requests of $25,000 or less.  The applicant is required to provide a 10 percent cash match toward the eligible expenses. 

Applications must be received by MASBDA no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2010.  For more information on the program, see past grant awardees and complete guidelines, visit mda.mo.gov or contact MASBDA at (573) 751-2129.