Rural Development


Micro-Lending Can Do Big Things for Small Food Businesses

July 5, 2016

Access to capital is a barrier many small-scale food entrepreneurs face when attempting to enter into a highly consolidated market. In many cases, new entrepreneurs do not have the necessary credit to qualify for traditional lending structures, making it nearly impossible to open new ventures. Fortunately, organizations like the Feed the Hunger Foundation provide micro-loans […]

Value-Added Grant Proposals Due Soon!

June 13, 2016

Whether helping farmers turn organic grains into shelf-ready items or providing capital for the creation of farm-identity preserved regional supply chains, the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program has served as a valuable resource for farmers looking to grow their businesses through value-added products. Back in April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $44 million in funding […]

New Rules for USDA Local Food Enterprise Loans

June 7, 2016

  Access to capital is important for all small businesses, including the food and farm businesses that bring locally and regionally produced food into rural communities, schools, and markets. Fortunately, there is a federal loan guarantee program, the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, which specifically supports these types of local entrepreneurs. Qualified projects […]

USDA Finds Rising Income Inequality Is Main Driver of Increasing Rural Child Poverty

May 26, 2016

Nearly a decade after the 2007 recession, the U.S. economy continues to move steadily toward recovery; unemployment has been cut in half (down to 5 percent), and average family incomes have increased 6 percent in just the last two years. By now the slow but rising tide of economic improvement has touched most corners of the […]

A Breakdown of the Senate’s Annual Food and Farm Spending Bill

May 20, 2016

Each year, Congress debates and makes key decisions about federal funding priorities for all government agencies, programs, and initiatives – including programs and resources that support our nation’s farmers and ranchers. This week marks an important step in that process (known as appropriations), as the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill to fund the U.S. […]

Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Programs

May 16, 2016

Editor’s Note: ‘Tis the season for federal program deadlines. In our ongoing effort to keep readers appraised of upcoming opportunities, we are issuing a revised list of program application information. As warmer weather settles in, farmers are busy planting crops, livestock are grazing on pasture, and farmers markets across the country are once again full […]

Value-Added Producer Grant Webinar This Week

May 2, 2016

NSAC is partnering with USDA to provide a free webinar for prospective applicants to the VAPG program on May 6th at 2 p.m. EST.

Boosting Community Development through Value-Added Products in Fulton, MO

April 28, 2016

When farmers and entrepreneurs take raw agricultural products like vegetables, grains, or dairy and transform them into goods like sauces and bread, they increase their bottom line because of the higher prices they can demand and they also contribute to community and rural economic development by creating new jobs in processing, marketing, or retail. The […]

NSAC Guide Helps Farmers Navigate Value-Added Grant Application

April 14, 2016

NSAC releases an updated version of its annual Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant

USDA Announces $44 million Available for Value-Added Agriculture

April 8, 2016

Whether helping farmers turn organic grains into shelf-ready items or providing capital for the creation of

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