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USDA Awards $390,200 in Grants for Ethanol, Dairy, Other Value-Added Projects

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2002


Hope Gruzlovic




The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $390,200 in grants for five New Jersey value-added agricultural market development projects, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus announced today.

"This is the first time in many years that the federal government has supported new economic development initiatives in agriculture in New Jersey," said Secretary Kuperus. "These grants will greatly assist our efforts to expand the marketplace for our farmers and to ensure a strong agricultural industry here in the Garden State."

"These grants are important because they provide the foundation to enhance the return on agricultural investment in New Jersey, and support a viable economic environment for agriculture in the state," said Andrew Law, State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Office in New Jersey.

Value-added agriculture refers to taking raw agricultural products and refining them in some way to add further value to them, for example, through processing or packaging.

The USDA awarded the following grants for value-added projects in New Jersey:

  • $219,000 to Garden State Ethanol, Inc., of Bordentown to conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan to site an ethanol production plant in South Jersey;
  • $107,000 to the Sussex County Milk Producers in Lafayette to conduct a feasibility analysis and develop a business plan for producing Jersey Fresh value-added dairy products, including a Jersey Fresh milk brand;
  • $25,100 to the Jersey Fruit Cooperative Association in Glassboro to conduct a market audit study for New Jersey peaches to identify future value-added markets;
  • $25,100 to BJ Farms in Bridgeton to establish a year-round, value-added tomato processing operation; and
$14,000 to M.R. Dickinson & Son in Bridgeton to conduct marketing, production and business structure studies for developing value-added products using culinary herbs, corn, wheat or hay.