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Deadline for Farmers Who Want to Boost their Business

April 24, 2007

Lyons N.E.- North Dakota farmers have a chance to expand into more profitable operations. The USDA is now accepting applications for millions of dollars in grants to develop specialty crops, produce alternative energy, or process their raw materials into more lucrative food products. Mike Heavrin with the Center for Rural Affairs says the grants are there for farmers who need some extra backing to branch out into new areas.

“Anyone who has an idea that would add value to the things you grow on your farm or raise on your farm would be eligible.”

The program was created to help producers expand their customer base for products or commodities, which means a greater portion of the profits go to the producer.

Heavrin notes that Value-Added Producer Grants help turn around economic decline and poverty in rural areas by helping farmers and ranchers access more lucrative markets. He believes that when agriculture succeeds, rural North Dakota succeeds.

“Because that brings money to the area, it could ultimately result in a lot of new jobs, so it's a terrific benefit to rural communities.”

For more information on the Value-Added Producer Grant program and how to apply, visit The deadline for applications this year is May 16.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - ND