September 26, 2023

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) announced that 28 projects will receive funding through the Show-Me Entrepreneurial Grants for Agriculture (SEGA) program.

The competitive grant program will provide nearly $4 million to Missouri farmers, small businesses and higher education institutions to add value to agricultural products or provide educational opportunities to those seeking to do so.

There were two grants in Northwest Missouri that will each receive $250,000: Northwest Missouri State University and Rosier Farms Distilling Co., LLC, dba R/Farm Distilling Co., Mound City.

“Adding value to our agricultural products is a huge opportunity to grow Missouri’s top economic driver,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Funds awarded through the SEGA program will kick-start ideas across our state and help our farmers and small business owners create more opportunity.”

SEGA grants are funded by an appropriation from the Missouri General Assembly to encourage value-added agriculture in the state.

“At MASBDA, we are fortunate to see agricultural innovation happening across our state every day,” said Jill Wood, executive director of MASBDA. “The General Assembly showed that it sees tremendous value in our long-term vision to grow value-added agriculture. We are excited to see these awardees make use of this funding as they develop new products and opportunities.”

The grant program was developed to address recommendations of the Missouri Food, Beverage, and Forest Products Manufacturing Task Force, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe in 2019. Lt. Gov. Kehoe continues to provide leadership for the state’s value-added agricultural initiatives.

The SEGA program consists of five separate parts:

• Innovation Grant Program: provides grants for the development of Missouri businesses that add value to agricultural products, which is the portion that the university and the distillery made application and was granted.

• Institutional Grant Program: provides grants to Missouri institutions of higher education for the creation and implementation of unique learning opportunities for Missouri producers and businesses interested in increasing value-added agriculture. Three universities were granted monies from this portion: Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri.

• Technical Assistance Grant Program: provides reimbursement of expenses to producers or businesses for technical assistance related to the creation and expansion of Missouri businesses that add value to agriculture products.

• Workforce Development Grant Program: provides reimbursement of expenses to Missouri producers or businesses associated with hiring, training and certifying new and/or current employees of an entity that is adding value to an agriculture product.

• Fee Offset Program: a non-competitive program that provides cost offsets to Missouri value-added agricultural enterprises associated with food processing and food safety laboratory services, including nutritional facts labeling, pH, water activity, microbiological services, and process authority review.

Numerous industry and academic partners continue to be engaged in supporting these awardees and all Missourians pursuing value-added agriculture, including with the newly formed Missouri Agriculture, Food and Forestry Innovation Center (MAFFIC). MAFFIC offers resources and technical assistance to help Missouri agricultural producers successfully pursue value-added agricultural production and marketing.

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