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USDA Offers Grants to Support Small, Socially Disadvantaged Ag Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications from cooperatives to provide technical assistance to small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. Funding will be made available through USDA Rural Development's Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSDPG). The maximum grant award is $200,000.

Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and cooperative development centers where a majority of the governing board or board of directors is comprised of individuals who are members of socially disadvantaged groups. Small, socially disadvantaged producers include farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters, and fishermen that have averaged $250,000 or less in annual gross sales of agricultural products in the last three years. Producers will be able to conduct market research, product and/or service improvement, feasibility studies, training, and implement business plans.

The application deadline is July 15, 2013, for paper applications, and July 10, 2013, for electronic applications. For information on how to apply, visit


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