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USDA Announces 2010 Recipients of Rural Business Enterprise Grants

September 3, 2010

On Tuesday, August 31, USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager announced the 61 recipients of its Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.

According to the USDA news release, “the RBEG program helps to finance and facilitate the development of new and existing businesses in rural America.  Funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.”

Congratulations to NSAC member group Center for Rural Affairs on receiving an RBEG award.  The Center’s grant will facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses throughout Nebraska with the assistance of an entrepreneurial event, MarketPlace: Opening Doors for Success.  The annual Nebraska MarketPlace has drawn over 500 attendees each year with the shared goals of developing small rural businesses and creating jobs.

Among the 61 awards, several will help foster local and regional food systems, including:

  • Colorado Big Country RC&D, Colorado – Feasibility study for business expansion of the Holy Cow Packing Plant to help shorten the driving time of ranchers in the area to distant plants.
  • Big Island RC&D Council, Inc., Hawaii – Financing of machinery and equipment for a new Dutch Hawaiian Cheesery facility located in Honokaa on the Island of Hawaii, providing a new market for the dairy industry.
  • County of Surry, North Carolina- Purchase of a refrigerated truck that will be leased to a produce growers cooperative.
  • Ohio Soybean Council Foundation, Ohio – Marketing assistance program for small rural businesses selling soy based products.
  • Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, Tennessee – “Live Green & Prosper” TV campaign, designed to raise awareness of the benefits of buying fresh, locally produced foods and to develop a local food economy.
  • Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation, Inc., Virginia – Construction of a permanent pavillion at a farmers’ market to enable it to go year-round.
  • Town of Shoreham, Vermont – Feasibility study in bulk processing and quick/long-term freezing to allow more regionally produced foods to be used in local institutions, including a strategy to convert a former apple storage warehouse to a multipurpose regional food center.
  • Town of Poultney, Vermont – Technical assistance in business planning, legal structure determination, and marketing plans for the Stone Valley Community Market in downtown Poultney, Vermont. This rural community has shown overwhelming support for a “locally owned, community grown” food market that would bring local, organic, and sustainable food and product options to the town.

For more information about the USDA’s RBEG program, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html.

Categories: Grants and Programs, Local & Regional Food Systems, Rural Development

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