Business Opportunities

Funding opportunities for farms and rural businesses that produce jobs are available from several sources. Value-Added Producer Grants, for example, help agricultural producers make and market more valuable products out of their raw commodities to keep the profits on the farm. Millions of dollars are available for starting new businesses, especially in economically deprived areas. Call us at 317-228-0134 if you have an idea you’d like to explore or if you want more information about what kinds of businesses and projects are eligible.

Example 1

One farm family asked us to write a planning grant for funds to create a marketing plan to sell their produce locally, increasing its price point and their total revenue. We met several times, asked questions, did additional research, and wrote a 150-page Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) application they reviewed, signed, and submitted to the USDA. They won the grant and received $75,000 to help with planning their new venture, including identifying and hiring knowledgeable experts, exploring the market, and assessing overall feasibility. This type of grant benefits the farm family and the community by giving businesses additional resources to enter new markets, create additional revenue streams, and add jobs to their community.

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Example 2

A small company in rural Tennessee looking to expand contacted us to help secure funding. Our advisers determined which geographical areas nearby qualified for New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) to offset expansion costs. We wrote a feasibility study and secured a Community Development Entity (CDE) to support the project. This company was awarded approximately $10 million in tax credits to offset the cost of a new factory and create much-needed jobs in their rural community.

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Example 3

A family farm in Indiana hired us to write a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) application for Department of Energy funds to study the precise impact of cover cropping on soil health through innovative geospatial statistical analysis. The project’s goal was to better understand the underlying mechanisms that cause cover crop species to influence cash crop yield and soil improvement and long-term sustainability of resources. Their final deliverable was precise best management practices for cover crops, including: establishment, termination, and in-season optimization of cover crop influence.

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Example 4

An entrepreneur enlisted us to secure funding for new grain drying system product development. We wrote an application for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds to assess how solar power could be used to improve grain drying systems and reduce costs.

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