USDA Grant Programs to Strengthen Markets for U.S. Products
USDA awarded $8 million in grants to strengthen markets for U.S. agricultural products through four programs: Acer Access and Development Program (Acer), Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives, Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program (SPMGP). Acer awarded $3.6 million to eight projects to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry. The new DBI program focuses on diversifying dairy-product markets to reduce risk and develop higher-value uses for dairy products; promoting business development to diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation; and encouraging the use of regional milk production. Nine FSMIP projects will explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving marketing system efficiency and performance. Meanwhile, one SPMGP project was awarded $1.9 million.