Deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2014
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today that the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is now accepting applications for farm to school value-added grants. These grants will assist Missouri businesses in accessing and processing locally grown agricultural products for use in Missouri schools.
The new program was authorized by Senate Bill 672 and Senate Bill 701, which were signed by Governor Nixon on July 8 and 9, and provides businesses the opportunity to place locally grown agricultural products in Missouri school meals and snacks, while at the same time strengthening local farming economies.
“As evidenced by Missouri being in the top 10 states in the number of farmers markets, producers in Missouri grow some of the best food around,” Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce said. “We’re thrilled that we can offer this program to incentivize Missouri businesses, which will in turn increase the amount of nutritious and delicious Missouri-made food served to students and benefit Missouri farmers.”
Eligible applicants must be a small business that purchases or processes locally grown agricultural products from a small farmer, and whose primary market is schools in Missouri. Small businesses that are producers of agricultural products themselves are eligible too. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will be scored based on their economic development potential, credibility and merit, as well as the source and level of matching funds.
The maximum individual grant is $200,000. Applicants are required to provide a 10% 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) plans. 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.