The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced awards totaling $1.4 million that will go to 10 cooperatives or associations of cooperatives serving small and minority farmers.
The Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants can be used to improve products, develop business plans or other economic development activities. Formerly known as the Small, Minority Producer Grant Program, the primary objective of the SSDPG program is to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers through eligible cooperatives and associations of cooperatives. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The maximum award amount per grant is $175,000.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said, “President Obama and I believe in providing the stability and support these small-scale producers need to furnish fresh, locally produced goods to their customers, and these investments will help make that possible.”
The program is part of the larger Rural Community Development Grants program. Those interested should contact the USDA.