WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) South Dakota Rural Development Acting State Director Hally Witte announced fiscal year 2021 investments to support local businesses and strengthen the rural economy.
“This USDA funding will provide financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth which is intended to help improve the quality of life in rural communities by enhancing economic opportunities,” said Witte.
The funding announced will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout South Dakota. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. And it will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce.
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.
Priority may be given to a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition.
– DesJarlais Farms, LLC in Sturgis was awarded $49,999 for working capital to pay for day-to-day processing expenses, supplies, and marketing related to value-added wine products. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness.
– DakotaGro, LLC in Platte was awarded $75,000 for working capital to pay for a marketing study to be developed by a third party, Axiom Marketing. The study will be used to determine opportunities, market gaps, and strategies for their proposed compost product. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness.
– Back Forty Beef, LLC in Pierpont was awarded $49,999 for working capital to pay for day-to-day processing expenses, supplies, and marketing related to value-added beef products. The business expects to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness.
The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to help microenterprises startup and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund; and to provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs.
– Grow SD based in Sisseton was awarded $36,337 to provide technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.
– NESDEC based in Sisseton was awarded $16,297 to provide technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.
The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers.
– Value Added Ag Development Center, Inc. in Pierre was awarded $200,000 as a technical assistance investment to assist both new and existing coops in adding value to ag products, along with assisting businesses in doing the same.
These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.