Here is a great concept - whether it works is another story. When will someone in Ontario have the guts to develop a program like this?
USDA plans to award approximately $18 million in value-added grants nationwide to farmers and business owners to help them add value to the commodities they produce.
USDA will award planning grants of up to $100,000 and working capital grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that use existing agricultural products in non-traditional ways or merge agricultural products with technology in creative ways. Businesses of all sizes may apply, but priority will be given to operators of small to medium-sized farms operating as a family farm — those with average annual gross sales of less than $700,000 — USDA said.
Applicants must provide matching funds equal to the amount of the grant requested. Ten percent of the funding being made available is reserved for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. An additional 10 percent is reserved for projects involving local and regional supply networks that link independent producers with businesses, and cooperatives that market value-added products.