August 06, 2013

Braggadocio Farm Awarded Missouri Value-Added Grant

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that McKaskle Family Farms, LLC of Braggadocio has been awarded $40,505 in grant funding to assist them in developing their organic rice and popcorn 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 fund a business plan and facility design planning services for a farm-scale rice mill and popcorn bagging facility. McKaskle Family Farms, LLC, owned by Steve and Kaye McKaskle, began organic production in 1992 with organic cotton and produced and processed the fiber until 2006 when a tornado destroyed their on-farm cotton gin. Lacking an organically-certified gin, the family turned to organic rice, wheat, popcorn, and soybeans. By processing organic rice and popcorn in their own facility, the McKaskles hope to not only identify new customers for their products but to also provide jobs in their southeastern Missouri community.

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,