From staff reports

new@joplinglobe.com

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed within the Missouri Department of Agriculture, recently announced that grants are available to farmers interested in turning their crops and livestock into more valuable processed products.

Missouri Value-Added Grants are available to farmers for obtaining financial and technical assistance on projects that develop, process or market agricultural goods.

“These value-added grants spur the types of progressive projects that are necessary to boost rural economic development in our state,” Don Steen, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said in a statement. “Despite state budget constraints, it is very important that we continue to provide Missouri farmers with the money that could mean the difference between moving ahead and remaining stagnant in the industry.”

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will be considered individually and judged on the following:

* Economic development potential for the agricultural industry.

* Credibility and merit.

* Probability of near-term commercialization and practical application of project results.

* Presence, source and level of matching funds.

* Where the project will have an economic impact.

The maximum individual grant is $200,000 with at least 10 percent of the available funding going to grant requests of $25,000 or less. A 10 percent cash match toward eligible expenses is required by the applicant. Operating expenses, salaries or capital expenditures are not eligible expenditures.

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23. For more information on the program and complete guidelines, contact MASBDA at (573) 751-2129 or masbda@mda.mo.gov



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