USDA seeks applications for grants to help rural businesses



USDA seeks applications for grants to help rural businesses produce and market value-added products: 
On June 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is accepting applications for grants to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers.  USDA is making $7.4 million available under the Agriculture Innovation Center Program.  Agriculture Innovation Centers may use the grants to provide technical assistance to help agricultural producers develop and market value-added agricultural products using a variety of options, except joint marketing efforts.  The centers may provide the following types of assistance:
o   financial advisory services to develop, expand or operate a business owned by an agricultural producer;
o   process development services, such as engineering, production system scale ups, scale production assessments and systems development;
o   organizational assistance, including legal and technical advisory services;
o   outreach assistance;
o   technical assistance for product development, excluding research and development; and
o   technical assistance for applied research to develop and operate processes and systems to produce and market value-added agricultural products.
The application deadline is September 27, 2021.  State governments are among the eligible applicants.  For more details, see the announcement or page 33969 of the June 28 Federal Register.

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