USDA Value Added Producer Grant awards announced; Morrison helps clients bring in $1.75 million

The USDA announced the award recipients for the Value Added Producer Grant program this morning and Morrison was ecstatic to learn that our clients were awarded a combined $1.75 million in federal grant funding for marketing and planning projects related to value-added activities.

Morrison was responsible for preparing seven applications for the competitive federal grant program and all seven received the full grant funding requested. Our client list for the 2012 program included Challenge Dairy Products, Nishimori Family Farms, Pacific Farms and Orchards, Valley Fig Growers, San Miguel Produce, Llano Seco Rancho, and Michigan Blueberry Growers.

Morrison represented 97% of all funding awarded in California. Six of the seven successful applications in the state were prepared by Morrison. Six of the seven applications written by our team required a business plan and feasibility study, which were also completed by our staff of professional CPA's.

The Value Added Producer Grant aims to help individual farmers and ranchers, agricultural cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups expand value-added activities. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. Applicants this year applied for up to $300,000 to support direct marketing opportunities and up to $100,000 for marketing planning projects.

Since 2002, Morrison has helped food and agriculture clients earn a combined $10.8 million in grant funding through the Value Added Producer Grant, with a 93% success rate overall through this program. Most federal grant programs only see a 20% to 30% success rate.

The Value Added Producer Grant is a federal Farm Bill program and funding for a 2013 program is uncertain. We will keep you informed on program information as we learn more.

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