U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers. 

These centers provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to market or produce value-added products. 

USDA is making $8 million available under the Agriculture Innovation Center Program. 

Agricultural Innovation Centers in Minnesota may use these grants to assist agricultural producers develop and market value-added products such as business development, market development, and financial advisory services that include process development such as engineering, production system scale-ups, scale production assessments, and systems development services. 

Other examples include organizational assistance, legal and technical advisory services, value chain coordination, and product development, excluding research and development. 

Awards of $5,000 or less to agricultural producers for the above services, center start-ups, and operations. Recipients must provide matching funds of least one-third of the project budget. 

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, commercial organizations, local governments, state governments, Native American tribes, and institutions of higher education. 

Applications for grants must be submitted through Grants.gov no later than 10:59 p.m. on March 5, 2023.