James Barnes, Coolman, Denise | 2/2/2006 2:51:04 AM
The LSU AgCenter is hosting informational sessions Feb. 10 to assist Louisiana residents interested in applying for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value-added Producer Grant program.
The USDA has more than $19 million to help fund economic ventures related to value-added agricultural projects, said Dora Ann Hatch, an LSU AgCenter economic development agent.
"Grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products," Hatch said.
Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-controlled, producer-based business ventures.
The LSU AgCenter informational sessions about the grants and the application process will originate from Knapp Hall on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge but will be available across the state at several locations of the AgCenter’s distance education network. The other locations include LSU AgCenter facilities in Alexandria, Bossier City, Crowley, Lake Charles, Mandeville, Metairie, Oak Grove and Winnsboro.
The sessions will be broadcast from 9:30 a.m. until noon Feb. 10. To register free of charge or to get more information about the workshops and the location nearest you, call (318) 927-2578 by noon on Feb. 9.
Featured speakers for the informational session include Dr. James Barnes, director of the LSU AgCenter’s Delta Rural Development Center in Oak Grove, who will discuss grant writing and Judy Meche from USDA, who will explain the Value-added Producer Grant application process.
LSU AgCenter community economic development agents will be at the various sites to assist participants. These agents also will be available, by appointment, Feb. 23-24 to answer questions. The program’s application deadline is March 31.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture