Missouri Dept. of Agriculture awards more than US$1M to 12 state agriculture projects to help them convert agricultural commodities, by-products into more valuable end products

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri , October 24, 2011 (press release) – The Missouri Department of Agriculture has awarded 12 Missouri agricultural projects with grant funding to assist them in converting their agriculture commodities and by-products into more valuable end products.

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) awarded the value-added grants to foster new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. The grants are funded from the sale of tax credits and can be used for business planning purposes, such as feasibility studies, marketing plans, business plans and legal assistance.

"Value-added grants give Missouri producers the tools they need to expand their businesses and add value to Missouri's agricultural commodities," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We congratulate all of the businesses on taking the steps to move their businesses forward and hopefully pave the way to adding more opportunities to their farm operations."

The maximum grant amount is $200,000, and the recipient is required to provide a 10 percent cash match toward the eligible expenses. The grants were awarded to:

* Kurzweils' Country Meats, Garden City - to conduct a feasibility study, marketing study, marketing plan, and business plan to determine viability of marketing meat products directly to supermarkets and food service venues
* Southeast Missouri Pellet Plant Project, Dexter - for a feasibility study to assess a farmer-owned biomass pellet plant
* Shady Grove, LLC, Ste. Genevieve - for a market feasibility study to assess the establishment of a winery
* Missouri Biomass Producer Supply Chain Consortium LLC, Pilot Grove - to perform a feasibility study focusing on biomass conversion technology
* Scaggs Rock-N-Lime Incorporated, Patterson - for a marketing strategy development study assessing retail bagged red lime
* Heintz Processing, Cuba - to conduct a financial feasibility study and business plan for a thermal conversion system
* Boeckmann Family Farm, Loose Creek - for a feasibility study, business plan and marketing study focusing on all-natural beef and turkey production
* Show Me Energy Cooperative, Centerview - to conduct a feasibility study, engineering system integration work, economic and legal analyses for a biomass-fueled power plant
* Grove Dairy Products, Mtn. Grove - to perform a feasibility study, marketing plan and business plan for value-added dairy products
* Hampton Alternative Energy Products, LLC, Triplett - for a feasibility study, marketing study and business plan for a bagged compost product
* Specialty Soybean Oil Producer Group, Garden City - for a market analysis, feasibility study and business plan determining demand for high-oleic soybean seed
* Missouri Biomass to Energy Co-Product Steering Committee, Hermann - to conduct a marketing study of industries utilizing co-products from biomass-to-energy production

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, awarded the value-added grants to foster new enterprises that will aid rural economic development. The grants are funded from the sale of tax credits and can be used for business planning purposes, such as feasibility studies, marketing plans, business plans and legal assistance.

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