Choose Iowa grant deadline this week
The deadline to apply for the next round of Choose Iowa grants is Dec. 15, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardships (IDALS).
Choose Iowa grants can be used to expand the availability of Iowa grown, Iowa raised and Iowa made foods, beverages and other agricultural products, the agency said in a release last week.
These cost-share grants match up to $25,000 per project to help farmers, businesses and nonprofits increase or diversify their agricultural product offerings, which provide more local food choices to consumers.
Pictured above: Secretary Naig
“Choose Iowa is all about connecting consumers to more Iowa food and beverage products, and these cost-share grants will build the supply of local foods to meet the growing market demand,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Whether someone wants to invest in adding value, diversifying offerings or tapping into new markets, Choose Iowa grants can help farmers, small businesses and nonprofits make that happen.”
Examples of grant uses include a farmer investing in an on-farm store or cold storage to sell meat, eggs or produce directly to consumers or a produce grower upgrading their commercial kitchen to process larger quantities of seasonal produce at the peak of freshness.
Grant funding can also be used for employee training and continuing education programs.
Applications should be submitted through the online portal at www.chooseiowa.com/grants and are due by 12 p.m. Dec. 15.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant recipients will be announced in March 2024.
In its first two years, the Choose Iowa grant program received hundreds of applications totaling nearly $3.3 million in requests. Thirteen awardees were selected in 2022 including dairy farms, direct-to-consumer meat businesses, a food hub, a CSA and a brewery, among others.
Twenty-eight recipients were awarded in 2023 for projects that included increasing cold storage, expanding processing proficiency and distribution capabilities, and improving production capacity and efficiency.
Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that are currently living or operating in Iowa may apply for Choose Iowa value-added grants.
Preference will be given to small to medium-sized businesses. Details about the grant program, including financial matching requirements, application and eligibility, are available at chooseiowa.com.
Want more news on this topic? Farm Bureau members may subscribe for a free email news service, featuring the farm and rural topics that interest them most!