The U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program has invested $4.1 million in Value Added Producer Grants to 22 farms across the state.
Grant recipients can use the funding to cover planning activities like feasibility studies or processing business plans or for working capital expenses for producing and marketing a value-adding agricultural product. Eligible capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses and some inventory and salary expenses, according to a news release.
“This investment will help South Carolina ag producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. In addition, it is expected that these projects will create many new jobs,” USDA S.C. Stat Director Debbie Turbeville said in the news release. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary (Sonny) Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural South Carolina in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
In Spartanburg County, a $35,000 grant will help Harp & Shamrock Croft LLC. expand the sales of its organic vegetable and herb production.
“We are honored to have been chosen and excited to be working with USDA RD on the Value-added Producer Grant program,” Paul Callahan, owner of Harp & Shamrock Croft, said in the release. “The grant provides us with an opportunity to build financial success and continue to grow in size and harvested Certified Naturally Grown produce for the surrounding communities.”
Briar Hill Farm LLC in Pickens County received $49,996 to help offset labor, operation supply, delivery and market promotion costs to expand its organic flower business. The grant is expected to help preserve a job, create three additional positions and boost the farm’s customer base.
Orangeburg County’s Keegan-Filion LLC and Chester County’s Wild Hope Farm will also put grant funding to use to finance marketing plans and payroll for a total of six and a half new or preserved jobs, according to the news release.
Keegan-Filion’s $250,000 grant will help the farm expand its pork product market to restaurants in the Midlands, Charlotte and Savannah by offsetting labor, delivery and supply costs, while Wild Hope Farm’s matching investment will also help increase its organic vegetable processing and packaging needs.
In Charleston County, Champney’s Blueberry Farm is receiving $47,962 to assist with the packaging, storage, transport and marketing of its blueberries. Fire Ant Farms LLC is getting $49,999 to offset operational expenses and hire additional employees. Rooting Down Farms LLC will receive $150,000 to increase marketing and sales of seasonal leafy greens and herbs. And Barrier Island Oyster Co. LLC is receiving $250,000 to increase sales of locally produced fresh oysters to local restaurants, retailers and customers.