Producers Interested in Adding Value to their Commodity Can Apply Now for USDA Grants

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Kenneth Corn about value-added USDA grants for producers.

Farm Director KC Sheperd is talking with USDA State Director Kenneth Corn about upcoming USDA value-added producer grants.

Corn said three Oklahomans were awarded these nationally competitive grants this year. Those applicants included American Heritage Beef, Jackson Angus Beef, and Miller Pecan Company.

“They are going to be able to use this grant to help their business continue to grow and to prosper,” Corn said.

Corn said any ag producer with a product or commodity is welcome to apply for value-added grants.

“Once you get the commodity in a position where you can turn it into something else, which gets the term, ‘value-added,’ then at that point, we can potentially help you do marketing, packaging, and some working capital,” Corn said. “Anybody out there who is doing anything in the ag-related area as a producer that has a commodity, they want to turn into a product, they are eligible for this grant.”

One example Corn talked about is grant recipient American Heritage Beef, which is packaging and selling pasture grazed, grain-finished beef through wholesale and retail. From selling honey from bees or eggs from chickens, Corn explained there are plenty of ways to take advantage of these value-added producer grants.

“In some respects, this can be a business that is already doing some of these things, so basically, you are lessening your cost,” Corn said.

For producers with questions about applying for these value-added grants, Corn said they can get in touch with the USDA Rural Development in Stillwater, Oklahoma at 405-742-1067.

“They can tell you how to start the application,” Corn said. “It is not necessary to have a grant writer. Some folks choose to do that, but some folks choose to do it on their own. We have got a guide, and we are certainly willing to answer questions to help you put it together.”

Applicants must apply for the USDA Value-Added Grants by April 16th. Read the full press release below!

Rural Development Announces Half Million Dollar Investment to Support Producers in Oklahoma

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $533,000 to support the growth of three agriculture producers in Oklahoma expand business operations via the USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer grant. The Value-Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

This investment in Oklahoma will support American Heritage Beef, Jackson Angus Beef and Millar Pecan.  

“Oklahoma is home to some of the finest produced USDA-graded beef and pecan production in the nation, so I am excited this grant program will allow consumers to buy these products direct from the producers themselves,” Corn said. “President Biden is a strong supporter of agriculture producers in Oklahoma and through USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant it allows producers to have greater control of how their produce is sold and maximizes profits for family farm and ranch operations.”

The three recipients from Oklahoma for the Value-Added Producer Grant, will utilize their investment in the following manner:

American Heritage Beef, $250,000

This Rural Development investment will assist American Heritage Beef Company with working capital allowing them to process, cut, and vacuum seal their fresh meat to be sold as quality, pasture-raised, grain-finished beef through wholesale/retail sales within the northeast region of Oklahoma. They hope to fill a void in their local rural economy through their rural business model which allows them to expand their sales by creating an online ordering platform. This also will allow them to open their very own delivery service.

Jackson Angus Beef, $102,000

This Rural Development investment will provide working capital funds to allow Jackson Angus Ranch to enter a new phase of processed beef. This investment will assist with their processing expenses, improving their marketing, and increasing their sales and distributions. Their goal is to expand their sales of beef sold directly to consumers through their storefront. Through COVID, many local consumers gained a new appreciation for local foods. They want to expand on that and target those local consumers through better marketing.

Miller Pecan, $181,000

This Rural Development investment will assist Miller Pecan Company with working capital allowing them to enter a new market for their one pound packaged Native Pecans. As one of the only producers in US that handles their pecans in each step from planting through marketing, this expansion will not only assist them increase their brand awareness, but also attract more distributors and retailers. This project will help develop a rural economy and grow the workforce in Ottawa County.

The Oklahoma State Office for Rural Development is currently accepting paper applications through April 16, 2024. Information on eligibility for producers and grant matching requirements are available to view at: Additionally, producers can email for more information.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is a firm believer in uplifting the economic prosperity of rural America,” Corn said. “There are few programs like the value-added program, which can strengthen the economic engine of the family farm or ranch operation to become a firm employer and proud producer for a community. I strongly recommend any producer in the Sooner State to take a moment to see if this grant opportunity is right for them and contact our State Office today.”

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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