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MDA Awards Value Added Grants
Minnesota Ag Connection - 06/20/2018

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded Value Added Grant funding to sixteen Minnesota agricultural producers and processors. Grant funds will support projects that increase the sales of Minnesota agricultural products through added processing, marketing, or manufacturing.

"We are excited to award funding to these sixteen deserving organizations," said Grants Specialist Julianne LaClair. "Their projects are growing their businesses, creating new jobs, and adding to Minnesota's agricultural economy, and all of those things benefit the state."

Kelly McManus of Dumpling and Strand, Noodlers at Large received a Value Added Grant last year.

"This grant has meant the world to us as we got started," said McManus, who used funds to purchase a packaging tray sealer for the burgeoning noodle company. The sealer allowed the company to increase production rates and shelf life of their product, and enter new markets. "I'm so glad the program exists and we hope to be able to utilize grant funds again soon."

Awardees will use funds to purchase equipment or improve their agricultural product processing facility to broaden current markets or enter news ones.

The first round of 2018 Value Added Grant awardees are:

- Bare Honey, LLC -- Maplewood

- Bemidji Brewing Company, LLC -- Bemidji

- Bushmills Ethanol, Inc. -- Atwater

- Curly Girlz Candy -- Medford

- Dutch House Confections, LLC -- Nelson

- Foley Locker, Inc. -- Foley

- KellyG's -- Bovey

- Krenik's Meat Processing, Inc. -- Montgomery

- Lee Thomas Farm -- Moorhead

- Let's Dish! -- Burnsville

- Love Creamery -- Two Harbors

- Northwest Regional Development Commissioner -- Warren

- Papa George's -- Minneapolis

- Stony Creek Dairy -- Melrose

- Torg Brewery -- Andover

- White Earth Band of Chippewa Tribe -- White Earth

Each project will increase the value or sales of a wide range of Minnesota agricultural products, including livestock, corn, wild rice, sugar beets, fruits and vegetables, and more. More than $608,000 was awarded in this round.

The next round of Value Added Grants will be posted in mid-July and will be due in September.

The MDA's Value Added Grant Program is part of the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools, and more throughout the state of Minnesota. The AGRI Program exists to advance Minnesota's agricultural and renewable energy sectors.

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