TOPEKA – The United States Department of Agriculture Acting State Director for Kansas Rural Development Dan Fischer today announced that the Department is investing $2.77 million in grants to help rural businesses in 12 Kansas communities.
“The USDA is committed to helping rural agricultural businesses grow and diversify their products,” Fischer said. “Today’s investments will help businesses hire more workers and reach new customers. It will help entrepreneurs and farmers create jobs, grow their businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce.
Specific funding for the 12 Kansas communities is:
• A grant of $745,476 will support a job accelerator partnership to improve the capacity of rural communities to create well-paying jobs, accelerate the creation of new businesses and help rural communities maximize local assets. Neosho County Community College, a college, is partnering with Southeast Kansas Works, a local workforce development council, and the Chanute Regional Development Authority, an economic development organization, to renovate 24,000 square feet of Neosho County Innovation & Technology Center (NCITC) to provide advanced manufacturing training, business development support and entrepreneur programs. The program will train 50 students and support 75 community partners in the first year of operation.
• A grant of $237,342 will be used to expand Front Range Yakco’s frozen packaged yak meat product line, diversify into new markets and increase sales. Working capital from Lenora will be used for marketing, travel, additional raw materials and processing supplies. Two jobs will be created through the project.
• A $210,000 grant will help expand Central Grazing Company’s packaged lamb product line, diversify into new markets and increase sales. Lawrence Company working capital will be used for supplies processing, storage and fulfillment costs. Two jobs will be created through the project.
• A grant of $249,996 will be used to expand the Tribe of Iowa’s line of cryo-packed beef products from Kansas and Nebraska, diversify into new markets and increase sales. Working capital will be used for supply processing, marketing and outreach, sales support, licensing, project management, e-commerce enhancement, and raw material supplementation. Two and a half jobs will be created thanks to the project.
• A grant of $249,915 will be used to expand Fresh Farm Headquarters Cooperative’s locally sourced fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, cheese and eggs for its retail sales. The working capital will be used for staffing, expanding their farm share program and establishing a pay-per-view retail option for this Kansas City, Kansas business.
• A $250,000 grant will be used to develop Z&M’s Twisted Vines Wines and Winery hard cider product. Working capital will be used for staffing, marketing and supplies for this Leavenworth business.
• A grant of $48,813 will be used to expand The Burning Barrel’s traditional breed farm-to-table hog operation. Working capital will be used for meat processing, supply, marketing and distribution for this Lecompton business.
• A grant of $49,999 will be used to expand the operation of Pat & Rachel’s Garden which sells canned, frozen and freeze-dried vegetables, herbs, fruits and soups. The funds will be used to expand the processing, marketing and supply capacity of this Olathe business.
• A grant of $184,000 will be used to expand Schenker Family Farms’ packaged beef, lamb, pork and chicken product lines, diversify into new markets and increase sales. The working capital will be used for marketing, packaging, supplies and streamlining the supply chain of this McCune business.
• A $250,000 grant will be used to expand Diamond C Food Service’s beef and pork processing facility, diversify into new markets and increase sales. Working capital will also be used for supplies, salaries, utilities and advertising. Thanks to this project, five jobs will be created in this Atchison company.
• A grant of $48,850 will be used to expand Blackberry Moon Produce’s locally grown, retail-packaged fresh vegetable plant by diversifying into a new market of direct-to-consumer products and increasing sales. Working capital will be used for supplies, website, advertising and labeling. Thanks to this project, a job will be created in this company in Columbus.
• A $250,000 grant will be used to expand Boot Hill Distillery’s line of canned and bottled ready-to-drink craft cocktails, diversify into new markets and increase sales. Working capital will be used for marketing, supply processing and distribution costs. Thanks to the project, a job will be created in this company in Dodge City.
These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are expected to help create or save more than 50,000 rural jobs in America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.
Under the direction of the Biden-Harris administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunity, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports the improvement of infrastructure; Business development; lodging; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and very poor areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you would like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development Updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. Follow us on Twitter at @RurDev_Kansas.