Missouri Dairy Business Update Commercial Agriculture
Volume 4, Number 7
July 2004

Missouri Dairy Planning Grants Available

Department of Agriculture Keeping Dairy Farmers Competitive

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) - The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced that it is accepting applications for early planning grants to help dairy producers capitalize on production practices and opportunities in the marketplace.

"Creating an environment of opportunity and innovation in agriculture is key to building our rural economy," said Director of Agriculture Peter Hofherr. "Partnering with dairy producers to provide the tools to increase the profitability of their operations is one important step to growing rural Missouri and keeping our farmers competitive in the international marketplace."

This program is designed to improve profitability, increase production and encourage start-up, modernization and expansion of Missouri dairy farms. Existing or start-up Missouri dairies will receive 75 percent of total costs for eligible projects, or a maximum of $3,000. Eligible projects are limited to business planning activities.

"Understanding the factors that contribute to our producers' bottom line is key," said Hofherr. "Together with industry, we're focusing on building a stronger dairy sector, both individually and sector-wide."

The Dairy Early Planning Grants are an initiative of the Missouri Dairy Growth Council (MDGC). The council, a partnership of 22 Missouri agricultural organizations and allied industry leaders, was formed to address Missouri's declining dairy industry and develop business tools that dairy farmers can use in their day-to-day operations. Since being formed in January 2003, the MDGC has completed a Dairy Producers' Industry Plan, which highlights five key business drivers with strategies and tactics for achieving those goals.

The grant program is administered by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed within the state's agriculture department. Information and applications for the Early Planning Grants are available online at www.mda.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-2129. Complete applications must be submitted by October 1, 2004 to MASBDA, P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630.

News Release http://www.mda.mo.gov/NewsAndEvents/Press/2004/PR07202004.htm

Applications (in PDF format) http://www.mda.mo.gov/pdf/dairy_grant.pdf

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