Valley food producers land nearly $850,000 in USDA grants

Central Valley

Valley food producers land nearly $850,000 in USDA grants

Published on 10/28/2016 – 11:09 am

San Joaquin Valley food producers are on the receiving end of nearly $850,000 in grants meant to help small rural businesses develop new products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a total of $45 million in Value-Added Producer Grants Thursday, going to 325 projects across the U.S.

Local recipients include:
Top o’ the Morn Farms, Tulare
$250,000 to expand farm fresh milk sold in recyclable glass bottles into new geographic markets in Southern California. Funds will be used for increased processing, distribution, promotion and sales support.

Barbara and Tony Martin, Dairy Goddess, Lemoore
$49,000 to provide working capital to expand sales of bottled, non-homogenized/vat pasteurized whole chocolate milk, fromage blanc cheese and curds. Funds will be used for marketing, website development, attendance at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show and signage.

San Joaquin Figs, Fresno
$49,999 to design, package and market organic dried figs and to purchase additional inventory for new markets.

Top Line Milk Co., Winton, Merced County
$245,000 to process whole milk into farm bottled low and slow pasteurized milk.

Blue Diamond, Sacramento
$250,000 to provide working capital to expand marketing and promotional support for the sale of flavored almonds in China and Japan.

“Value-Added Producer Grants are one of USDA’s most sought-after funding sources for veteran and beginning farmers, and rural-based businesses,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a statement. “These grants provide a much-needed source of financing to help producers develop new product lines and increase their income, and keep that income in their communities. Economic development initiatives like this one are working – the unemployment rate in rural America is at an eight-year low and incomes rose 3.4 percent last year. Small business entrepreneurship, which Value-Added Producer Grants support, is a major reason why rural America is a making a comeback.”

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