News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #03-086
More than $4 million awarded to California agriculture
SACRAMENTO – At a ceremony held today at the state Capitol, CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura joined Paul Venosdel, state director of USDA rural development programs in California, to announce the approval of 20 federal grants for value-added agricultural product market development. The grants total more than $4.1 million and will foster the development of new products and markets for agriculturally based products.

Authorized as part of the 2002 Farm Bill, the Value-Added Agriculture Product Market Development Grants program provides an opportunity to refine agricultural commodities and products to increase their value in the marketplace. It is a way to help producers of agricultural commodities, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and producer-based business ventures develop viable marketing opportunities in emerging markets. 

“Federal dollars are coming home today for California’s number one industry – Agriculture,” said  Venosdel. “USDA is proud to partner with innovative and cutting edge market development cooperatives and companies ranging from caviar and cotton to beef and olives, along with dairies, peaches, walnuts and almonds, figs, wines and special projects aimed at new energy and seed production.”

The range of selected grant projects includes a Western United Dairymen proposal to study the feasibility of developing a fuel market for renewable methane created on dairies, as well as a project by Superior Stampede, which will receive a grant for a value-added Internet cattle marketing company. A complete list of the selected grant recipients can be found at the USDA Rural Development California website:

“My congratulations to the many outstanding companies receiving grants,” said Secretary Kawamura. “We are grateful to our partners at USDA for all they do on behalf of California agriculture. We are interested in continuing to seek partnership opportunities with the federal government as part of the renaissance for agriculture and the entire state economy.”

USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal entity for rural development needs and administers financial and technical assistance through three agencies: Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Utilities Service.  

Click here for high resolution images of the event. 


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814