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BISMARCK, N.D., February, 03 2012 – USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider today announced that Dakota Pride Cooperative and Bowdon Meat Processing were selected to receive business development assistance through the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

“This program is an effective way to increase financial returns and boost economic activity in rural America,” said Schneider.  “The projects selected will support the efforts of agricultural producers, businesses and families to sell and promote their commodities to local, regional and even foreign markets.” 

Dakota Pride Cooperative in Jamestown, N.D. received a $49,000 grant to expand their market reach into South Korea by marketing identity-preserved, non-genetically modified soybeans.  Since 1998, Dakota Pride has been creating marketing opportunities for its members by adding value to their crops through an identity preserved marketing system.  The cooperative has grown from strictly focusing on domestic markets to capitalizing on opportunities overseas where there is a high interest in knowing where products have been produced.

Bowdon Meat Processing Plant in Bowdon, N.D. received a $49,500 grant to help operate the plant as well as market value-added meat products.  The farmer-rancher owned cooperative was formed to open a new state inspected processing facility, replacing a plant that previously closed.  Farmers and ranchers will now have a plant to locally process their livestock and also to sell their products to customers for retail re-sale across the state of North Dakota.

Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects.  Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.
Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at

Monthly Conference Calls
The center hosts monthly conference calls with cooperative employees who respond to economic development needs in their service areas.  These calls give employees an opportunity to learn from each other and connect with the Statewide staff for assistance The calls are held the third Wednesday of each month.

Rural Developers’ Round Table Talks – The center hosts quarterly “Round Table Talks” in different areas of the state.  The events are very informal, but are a great way to connect with economic developers from different regions of the state.  There is usually a discussion of projects being worked on by developers, followed by a panel discussion covering various issues facing economic developers across the  

For overall rural development questions contact:
Lori Capouch, Economic Development Director

  North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives| 1.800.234.0518 |PO Box 727, Mandan, N.D. 58554 | |

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