Value Added Agriculture

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Value added agriculture focuses on increasing the economic value and/or consumer appeal of an agricultural product. Often producers have products they can market as both an original and a value added agricultural product, they simply need the assistance in getting started.

According to USDA Rural Development value added products must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The changing of the physical state or form of the product. Examples include: processing wheat into flour, corn into ethanol, slaughtering livestock or poultry, or slicing tomatoes.
  • A product produced in a manner that enhances its value, as demonstrated through a business plan. An example is organically produced products.
  • The physical segregation of an agricultural commodity or product in a manner that results in the enhancement of the value of that commodity or product. Examples: include an identity preservation system for a variety or quality of grain desired by an identified end-user or the trace-ability of hormone-free livestock to the retailer.
  • The term “value-added agricultural product” includes any agricultural commodity or product that is used to produce renewable energy on a farm or ranch. Examples: collecting and converting methane from animal waste to generate energy.
  • Locally produced and marketed farm products are those that are grown on your own farm and are sold within a 400 mile radius of your farm or within the state in which it is produced.

USDA Rural Development offers Value-Added Producer Grants with four eligible entities: Independent Producers, Farmer or Rancher Cooperative, Agricultural Producer Groups and Majority-Controlled Producer Based Business Ventures. For more information visit their website: Value-Added Producer Grants.

Check out the Food Processing Centerand theIndustrial Agricultural Products Center for additional assistance on adding value to products or producing on a larger scale.

Successful Value-Added Cooperative Stories

Courtesy of Cooperation Works! website

Succession Planning Strives to Preserve Local Jobs and Ownership

La Junta Goat Milk Cooperative