Monday, February 13, 2012

USDA Announces Winners of Local Foods Grants

Earlier this month, $40 million dollars in USDA grants was awarded to 298 farmers, ranchers, and farmer-controlled rural business ventures.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said, "These projects will provide financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across the country...This funding will promote small business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities by providing local businesses with access capital, technical assistance and new markets for products and services."

One of the recipients was Living Water Farms, a farm in Strawn, Illinois which produces hydroponic greens for restaurants and grocers. Denise Kilgus, one of the founders of Living Water Farms, said that the grant will be a good boost. "The grant is going to help us get out more so we can market our product, talk to the chefs and build out our business. It's a start up business and everyone pitches in."

As an ag entrepreneur, have you heard of this grant before? Did you apply? What impacts do you think this will have on local foods industries?

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