August 06, 2013

Springfield Non-Profit Organization Awarded Missouri Value-Added Grant

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that Hickory Gardens of Springfield has been awarded $46,112 in grant funding to assist them in developing their non-profit produce operation. 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 feasibility study, marketing analysis, and business plan to determine the viability of expanding their fresh produce production and constructing an on-site canning operation.

Hickory Gardens is a 501(c)3 organization, whose mission is to provide quality, natural produce to local charitable organizations serving the needy. The organization donates half of their produce each year to local families and individuals in need. The rest of the produce is sold to local stores to offset their operating expenses. Hickory Gardens also serves as an outdoor classroom for a nearby middle school, allowing students to work in the garden during recess and during school breaks to learn about farming and sustainable agriculture.

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,