The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is investing $3.2 million to help 15 agricultural producers develop and market value-added products, announced State Director John Huffman Wednesday, Oct. 28.
“These grants will help Oregon agricultural producers grow their businesses and access new markets," said Huffman. "By expanding their operations, these rural businesses will also create jobs and help to improve the local economy."
In southwest Oregon, Uproot Meats produces locally sourced, ethically raised pork and chicken. This woman-owned business is closely involved in every step of the process of putting quality, sustainable meats directly into the hands of local families through a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription, as well as local retailers and restaurants. With a $250,000 grant, Uproot Meats will increase its production and implement a strategic marketing campaign to expand its customer base. By increasing its sales of sustainably farmed, nutrient-dense meat, the farm will also be able to create two additional jobs in this rural community.
The Tillamook County Creamery Association will use a $250,000 grant to expand its sales of "Tillamook" brand dairy products into the Singapore market. This farmer-owned cooperative will conduct a marketing campaign, as well as in-store education and promotional events, to increase sales through communication about the quality and heritage of its newly launched cheese and ice cream. By increasing its international sales, Tillamook will create additional jobs across the organization, including in Tillamook County.
An additional 13 agricultural producers in Oregon are also receiving USDA grants to develop and market a variety of value-added products.
The funding is being provide through USDA's Value Added Producer Grant Program and is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their grant agreements. This program helps agricultural producers develop or expand product lines from raw agricultural products. Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and producer-based business ventures are eligible to apply. One application window is typically announced each year.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.