August 05, 2013

More than $800,000 Awarded to Missouri Value-Added Agriculture Projects

The Missouri Department of Agriculture today announced the awarding of more than $800,000 of grants for agricultural businesses. 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 rural communities.

"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 Missouri agriculture's continued success. We congratulate these individuals and groups on taking steps to move their businesses and their communities forward."

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) awards the value-added grants to promote the development, processing and marketing of new or expanded uses of Missouri agricultural products that will also aid rural economic development. 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. This year's grants ranged from $17,000 to $198,000, for a total of $808,838 awarded. The twelve grants were awarded to:

• Heckemeyer Farms, Sikeston - for technical and marketing assistance to establish a sweet sorghum syrup processing operation.

• McKaskle Family Farms, LLC, Braggadocio - for the business plan and facility design for a farm-scale rice mill and popcorn bagging facility.

• Missouri BioProduct Producers Group, Burlington Junction - to conduct a market analysis, system assessment, financial and business model development study for a producer-led specialized fiber and agricultural feedstock supply network.

• Missouri Value-Added Beef Processing Group, Monticello - for a market analysis, feasibility study and business plan to determine the economic feasibility of building and operating a large, commercial-scale beef processing, aging and portioning operation in Missouri.

• Specialty Soybean Meal Opportunities Steering Committee, Jefferson City - to conduct a market analysis, feasibility study and to develop a business plan for a low-oligosaccharide, reduced trypsin-inhibitor soybean breeder stock seed supply network.

• Steve and Judith Luecker, New Haven - for technical, marketing and sales, and economic feasibility studies to determine the establishment of a USDA approved livestock quarantine facility in Missouri.

• Hance Farm, Rolla - to conduct a feasibility study to define expanded uses of sunflower oil and meal.

• Harvey's Pecans, Brunswick - for legal assistance and a plan to expand markets for Missouri native pecans.

• Hickory Gardens, Springfield - to fund a feasibility study, marketing analysis and business plan to determine the viability of expanding produce production and developing a canning operation.

• Circle B Ranch, Seymour - for a feasibility study to assess and further identify market opportunities for locally produced pork and beef products.

• Pierce Seed Company, Caruthersville - for marketing assistance and legal planning services to aid in exploring new uses for raw rice.

• Ozark Mountain Creamery, LLC, Mountain Grove - for structural setup, legal assistance and marketing support services for a fluid milk dairy.

MASBDA, housed at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, awarded the value-added grants to foster new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. Applications for the 2013 grants were due to MASBDA in December 2012.

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,