The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is now accepting applications for grants to help Missouri businesses access and process locally grown agricultural products for local schools. This program provides assistance in placing locally grown agricultural products in Missouri school meals and snacks while strengthening local farming economies.
“Producers in Missouri grow some of the highest quality and most diverse food around,” Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce said. “We’re happy to provide businesses the opportunity to place locally grown agricultural products in Missouri school meals and snacks, while at the same time strengthening local farming economies. This is one more outlet for Missouri farmers to do business.”
Eligible applicants must be a small business purchasing or processing locally grown agricultural products from a small farmer and whose primary market is schools in Missouri. The small business could be the actual producer of agricultural products. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and applications will be scored based on their economic development potential, credibility and merit, and source and level of matching funds.
The maximum individual grant is $200,000. Applicants are required to provide a 10 percent cash match toward the resource being funded. Eligible resources may include, but are not limited to, items such as: coolers, freezers, washing, bagging, sorting and/or packing equipment, and professional services for the development of Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Analysis (HACCP) plan development. The program does not provide funds for agricultural production practices or equipment, paying off debt, applicant salaries or wages, or that of employees, motor vehicles, or operating expenses.
Applications must be received by MASBDA no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. For more information on the program and complete guidelines, visit agriculture.mo.gov or contact MASBDA at email@example.com or (573) 751-2129.