The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority is now accepting applications for grants to assist Missouri businesses in accessing and processing locally grown agricultural products for use in facilities within the state.
Senate Bill 665, signed by Gov. Jay Nixon on June 24, 2016, changed what was previously Farm to School legislation to Farm to Table, broadening the scope to include other types of facilities with food service programs.
This program provides assistance in placing locally grown agricultural products in Missouri schools, correctional facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and military bases 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. “Finding new markets for their goods is something that the Department of Agriculture can assist with. This program provides another outlet for distributing locally grown agricultural products, while also strengthening local farming economies.”
Eligible applicants must be a small business purchasing or processing locally grown agricultural products from a small farmer and whose primary market is institutions 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. 28, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. For more information on the program and complete guidelines, visit agriculture.mo.gov or contact MASBDA at [email protected] or (573) 751-2129.