February 08, 2008

CRAPO: DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR USDA GRANTS

Encourages Idahoans to apply for Value-Added Producer Grants

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Ranking Member on the Senate Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit, is encouraging Idaho agricultural producers to apply for marketing grants offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The deadline to apply for the USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant program is March 31, 2008.

"Idahoans have a history of submitting strong applications that compete well for these USDA Rural Development grants, Crapo said. "Last year, Idaho ranked eighth in the nation for the number of projects that were funded."

Crapo noted many producers of agricultural products in Idaho can increase their sales and expand their marketing abilities with the funding. The grants also create jobs and boost the rural economy. One recent grant recipient in the Magic Valley was able to launch a marketing campaign for their natural beef product, benefiting both producers and customers.

"Our pledge is to work with our customers to help them develop quality applications for their project, with a goal of obtaining as many of these funds as possible for Idaho's agricultural producers," said Mike Field, Idaho State Director for USDA Rural Development.

For more information, contact Randy Wheatley, Idaho's Value Added Producer Grant Coordinator at (208) 734-1324, extension 121. Information is also available at USDA Rural Development's Idaho website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/id/, and Crapo's website at http://crapo.senate.gov/.