This comes from the USDA:
The deadline is in mid-July to apply for USDA help for small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas.
Funding will be made available through USDA Rural Development's
Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program. The
maximum grant award is $200,000.
The grants assist producers like Frank Taylor who returned home after
college and established the Winston County Self-Help Cooperative in
Mississippi, a consortium of local farmers that pool their resources to
receive training in business development, conservation and health.
The Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant and other USDA business and cooperative development
programs have had a significant impact on rural communities. In 2012
alone, they helped almost 10,000 rural small business owners or farmers
improve their enterprises. Business and cooperative program funding
created or saved an estimated 53,000 rural jobs in 2012.
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 for Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants is July 15, 2013 for paper applications and July 10, 2013 for electronic applications. For additional information on how to apply, go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_SSDPG.html.