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JOHANNS ANNOUNCES $1.3 MILLION IN AGRICULTURAL MARKETING PROJECT GRANTS TO 21 STATES
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2007 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today awarded over $1.3 million in 26 matching grants to 21 states supporting agricultural market research and demonstration projects. These grants, provided under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, explore new and innovative approaches to marketing U.S. food and agricultural products and help improve the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.
"These 26 projects reflect the new realities of today's increasingly competitive global marketplace," said Johanns. "They are focused on developing innovative, more efficient and market-oriented ways to benefit our agricultural sector and support our nation's growing economy in the 21st century."
The projects focus on developing agricultural marketing strategies for an array of areas such as eco-type seeds for landscaping; a certified baitfish program; a prototype bison meat marketing and promotion campaign; a pilot statewide food traceability system; field testing U.S.-grown dry bean seed varieties in Mexico; improving accuracy and usefulness of U.S. market goat grades; assessing local grower capability to supply regional demand for HACCP certified bagged salad greens; assessing and anticipating nursery products for shifting consumer preferences; and exploring opportunities for sales, distribution and safe handling guidelines of locally grown and processed products in schools; just to name a few.
USDA awarded the following grants:
Alabama - $14,995 to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, in cooperation with the University of Florida, the University of Florida Leon County Extension Office, the University of Georgia and Auburn University, to identify opportunities for Deep South wildflower seed growers to access a new market supplying native eco-type seed to state departments of transportation for use in landscape projects along public roads and highways.
Alaska - $59,845 to the Alaska Division of Agriculture, to explore niche regional, national and international markets for Alaska peonies and other cut flowers and develop a marketing strategy to take advantage of an annual seasonal deficit in world supply.
Arizona - $49,275 to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Arizona State University, to conduct a national survey to identify attributes of an effective, private-sector funded state branding program.
Arkansas - $30,000 to the Arkansas State Plant Board, in cooperation with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and the Arkansas Bait and Ornamental Fish Growers Association, to introduce the new Arkansas Certified Baitfish program to national fish and wildlife administrators, national baitfish distributors, live-baitfish retailers and youth and adult fishing programs.
Colorado - $58,000 to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the National Bison Association and Colorado State University, to develop an effective prototype marketing and promotion campaign for bison meat that can be replicated in other similar demographically favorable markets.
Florida - $72,000 to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in cooperation with the University of Florida, the Southeastern Fisheries Association, and the Florida Aquaculture Association, to survey consumers age 55 and older to identify their attitudes about and preferences for seafood and aquaculture products, and to develop a marketing campaign based on the findings.
Hawaii - $50,000 to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with industry partners, to conduct a pilot project for a statewide food traceability system.
Idaho - $54,500 to the Idaho Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Idaho Bean Commission, to field test U.S.-grown dry bean seed varieties in Mexico, and to conduct educational seminars for Mexican growers and cooperatives to review the results and explain how to import the seed from the United States.
Kentucky - $33,375 to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Kentucky State University and Western Kentucky University, to improve the accuracy and usefulness of U.S. market goat grades to provide graders and buyers with a more accurate tool for evaluating live goats and give producers an economic incentive to improve the quality of their goats.
Maryland - $50,000 to the University of Maryland School of Nursing, in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, several non-profit organizations and others, to facilitate increased use of locally produced foods in Maryland hospitals.
Massachusetts - $33,825 to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts and non-profit organization partners, to determine the regional demand for HACCP certified bagged salad greens and to assess the capability of local growers to supply this market.
Massachusetts - $61,600 to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscaping Association, to develop a marketing strategy that will enable nursery operators to address shifts in demand due to changing consumer preferences, and environmental regulations regarding water use and invasive plants.
Michigan - $47,410 to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Southeast Michigan RC&D and a non-profit partner, to support the growth of the region's urban wood industry that supplies locally produced "green" building materials from waste wood such as those from trees damaged by the emerald ash borer.
Mississippi - $55,875 to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, in cooperation with Mississippi State University, to conduct consumer and chef focus groups in three target cities to gather data on their acceptance and willingness to pay for U.S. farm raised freshwater prawn that will serve in developing future marketing efforts.
New Jersey - $85,000 to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Rutgers University, to prepare produce growers to meet emerging food safety trends and access commercial markets through training on the state's food safety certification program.
New Mexico - $58,550 to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with New Mexico State University, the New Mexico Chile Commission and industry partners, to develop a comprehensive regional marketing program for red chilies.
New Mexico - $46,545 to New Mexico State University to assess the national market for New Mexico-grown natural dye plants and natural dye plant products.
North Carolina - $61,400 to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in cooperation with North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, to determine key factors that influence current and anticipated consumer purchases of nursery products and landscape services to help the state's nursery sector update its marketing strategies and better plan future product and service offerings.
Ohio - $49,225 to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Ohio State University and industry partners, to explore opportunities for sales of locally grown and processed products in school vending machines, and to conduct a pilot project in a university setting.
Ohio - $56,715 to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Ohio State University, the Ohio Farm Bureau and others, to evaluate the current marketing strategies and practices of Ohio food producers, and to determine if and how a web-based marketing system can improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Oklahoma - $56,365 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in cooperation with Oklahoma State University, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Oklahoma State Department of Education, to develop food distribution models for small, medium and large producers, and to create safe handling guidelines to foster use of locally grown and produced food products in school systems throughout the state.
Oregon - $43,000 to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Oregon State University Food Innovation Center and the Oregon School Nutrition Association, to explore opportunities for Oregon producers to supply ingredients or produce processed products for sale to public schools and to conduct a pilot project involving several products tailored to meet the needs and requirements of participating schools.
Washington - $55,000 to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Washington Red Raspberry Commission and Washington State University, to use health-based research in support of a program to expand use of red raspberries in the production of new and existing processed products.
Washington - $65,000 to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Cranberry Marketing Committee, to conduct national surveys of consumers and health professionals to gain insight into their knowledge, preferences and demand for cranberries and cranberry products, and to use the results to improve the industry's marketing strategies and educational programs.
Washington - $63,500 to the Washington Dry Pea and Lentil Commission to educate food product research and development professionals about the technical aspects and uses of various forms of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas to enhance the nutritional value of existing products and create new products using these ingredients.
Wyoming - $23,000 to the Wyoming Business Council to foster development of the specialty food sector in Wyoming and to train producers and processors on food safety principles.