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Ag-Related Tech-based ED Shorts

September 21, 2001

The 2001 Farm Bill 

H.R. 2646, awaiting action by the full U.S. House of Representatives, includes authorization language to provide $50 million in funding for the Value-Added Grants Program to provide grants for start-up, farmer-owned, value-added processing facilities. The bill also would provide authorization for regionally planned rural development pilot programs and would continue the Research Initiative for Future Agricultural Systems at a program level of $145 million per year for fiscal years 2004 through 2011. The press release for the version of the bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee can be found at: http://agriculture.house.gov/press/pr010727.html 

According to an August 26 Des Moines Register interview with Senator Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Senate version of the bill, currently before the committee, would authorize $150 million for matching funds to support equity investments in value-added agriculture. 


A September 13 wire story from the Associated Press reports a new $1 million center to support the growth of agriculture-technology businesses and entrepreneurs is to be built in Tifton. According to the article, the center will be affiliated with the state’s Advanced Technology Development Center and will include 10,000 sq. ft. of incubator space. Tenants of the center, to be located near the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory, also will be able to take advantage of nearby business and research connections at the University of Georgia’s Coastal Plan Experiment Station, Rural Development Center and the two-year Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. 


The Topeka Capital-Journal reported on September 9 that the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development grant and loan program to support technical assistance to determine the market potential of inventions. Additionally, Kansas State University received a $220,000 grant to improve ongoing cooperative development and value-added technical assistance to agricultural coops. 

New Jersey 

Rutgers University, with the help of a $500,000 grant from the state, is launching the Millennium Viability Initiative, a multi-faceted program to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and ag-businesses to help them identify new markets and develop valued-added products. The center will be tied to the college's new Food Industry Research and Extension Center. An incubator is in the planning stages as well for the center. More information is available at http://www.viability.rutgers.edu/ 

South Dakota 

South Dakota Ag Producer Ventures (SDAPV) will receive $203,500 from the state’s Value-Added Ag Subfund to develop new, farmer-owned dairy investment opportunities for local producers and to attract out-of-state dairy operators to South Dakota. Administered by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the $3 million Value-Added Ag Subfund has been operational for more than a year and is designed to support feasibility and marketing research for ag processing projects. 

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