Specifically, these grants are intended to:· initiate or expand livestock product processing;
· create feasibility, business, marketing and succession plans for existing and new businesses;
· purchase equipment to initiate, upgrade, or modernize value added businesses;
· increase on-farm food safety, such as implementation of a food safety plan
· increase farmers’ processing and aggregating capacity to enter farm-to-school and other markets
Proposals that have a meat processing, farm-to-school (or other institution) component, or are addressing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or similar type of food safety plan will receive priority, but all value added proposals are encouraged to apply. Small to medium sized operations will also receive special consideration.
Proposals that include business planning, feasibility studies, marketing planning and succession planning are eligible for 50 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $30,000.
Equipment purchases or physical improvements are eligible for 25 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum grant award of $70,000 with a completed business plan or food safety plan. A business or food safety plan must outline what equipment and improvements are necessary to fulfill the plan.
The grants will be distributed in two rounds. Round one applications must be received by the MDA no later than on
2012. Round two applications
must be received no later than on March 1, 2013. Proposals may be delivered by mail, in person, or by
email. If a proposal is emailed, the time and date it is received by the
program administrator will be considered the received-by date.