May 22, 2014

More than $125,000 Awarded to Missouri Value-Added Agriculture Projects

The Missouri Department of Agriculture today announced the awarding of more than $125,000 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 a rural community.

"As Missouri agriculture moves forward, we will continue to lead the way in supporting our farmers' innovations in production and processing technology," said Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce. "Value-added agriculture is a growing area in our state and an outstanding way for producers to diversify their operations."

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 $20,900 to $49,500, for a total of $128,665 awarded. The four grants were awarded to:

• Hamra Farms, Sikeston - Development of a business plan supporting the growth of a hydroponic greenhouse operation which markets produce such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers primarily to schools, restaurants and local grocery stores.

• Midwest Aquaculture, LLC, Montgomery City - For a feasibility study, marketing analysis, and business plan to determine the viability of a commercial-scale, zero-discharge, modular, indoor shrimp production and processing facility.

• Sunrise Farm, LLC, Bland - For a marketing plan, business plan and legal services to evaluate the viability of a local meat processing plant.

• Eco Tec Surfaces, LLC, Kansas City - To fund a revised business plan, marketing analysis and legal services for a new "green" solid surface building material containing soybean-based urethane resin and recycled glass filler.

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 2014 grants were due to MASBDA in late 2013.

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,