USDA will be providing $33 million in grants to producer-owned processing businesses for value-added agricultural development. Priority will be given to proposals that emphasize development of renewable energy from ag production and the use of innovative technologies to develop value-added products, says Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

The Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants program, as authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, is designed to encourage independent producers of ag commodities to process their raw products into marketable, value-added goods, thereby increasing farm income.