LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2012) — KCARD launches Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program The Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD) is launching a new service to farmers and rural businesses in 2012, the Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program.
In working with Kentucky’s entrepreneurs, KCARD staff identified a need for greater information about grant opportunities to be provided to their small business clients. Prospective applicants were finding out about funding opportunities too late in the process to be able to put together a competitive application, and the process for applying is complicated, deterring many.
Funded in part by the Kentucky Ag Development Board, the new Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural businesses in Kentucky learn about, apply for, and receive funding available through numerous programs. KCARD has named Aleta Botts as coordinator for the new Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program.
Botts has almost 10 years of experience working on agriculture issues at the federal level, most recently as a policy staffer for the US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture. As the coordinator for the Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program, Botts will be helping connect Kentucky producers and agricultural businesses with funding resources.
“Kentucky is blessed with so many great entrepreneurs doing innovative projects. Unfortunately, many deserving projects do not receive funds from rural development programs simply because a lot of prospective applicants do not know about the programs or do not think they have the time to navigate the process,” explained Botts. “Through this Grant Facilitation Program, we can help people stay informed on funding opportunities and walk them through the maze for filling out good applications.”
Botts will first be focusing on identifying available grant and loan resources, bringing these resources to the attention of applicants in Kentucky, and helping applicants better understand the programs’ requirements. She also looks forward to working with grant writers in the state to help them connect with interested applicants. One of the first tasks undertaken for the program was the development of a website that would show up-to-date information about funding opportunities and help people understand for what programs they are eligible.
Growkentuckyag.com will provide farmers and businesses facts about programs and serve as a central clearinghouse for information that might be helpful for entities looking for such funding opportunities.
“Helping Kentucky’s agricultural and rural businesses enhance their economic opportunities has always been a major part of KCARD’s mission,” explained Larry Snell, KCARD’s Executive Director. “By expanding KCARD’s services to include grant facilitation, we hope to see more agricultural and rural businesses leveraging additional resources to enhance their ability to be profitable.”
As a statewide organization, KCARD works with rural businesses and agribusinesses across the Commonwealth to provide specialized assistance increasing the chances for success. Along with the new Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program, KCARD provides a range of services to their clients including strategic planning, business management, operations analysis, recordkeeping development, cost analysis, and on-site business consultations. For more information on KCARD visit www.kcard.info and to learn more about the Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program visit www.growkentuckyag.com.