The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority – a division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture – is offering financial help to farmers interested in turning their crops and livestock into more valuable processed products.
It’s called value-added agriculture – the end result of taking a raw agricultural commodity and doing some further processing to come up with a product that could be sold directly to consumers. An example would be a dairy farmer producing cheese or ice cream.
Tony Stafford, the Authority’s Executive Director, says these grants are start-up money for farmers who have banded together and are looking for a chance to profit.
Applications must be made by January 23rd. A little more than one-million dollars will be made available with ten percent targeting small operations requesting 25-thousand dollars or less. Applicants must present their proposal to the Authority and will be required to come up with a 10 percent cash match.