USDA grants to aid 3 N.H. farms


Three New Hampshire farms have received business development assistance grants totaling more than $180,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, maker of Farnum Hill Ciders, has won a $100,000 Value-Added Producer Grant, which it it will use to expand its marketing territory.“We are blown away to be selected as a grant recipient,” said Louise Spencer, co-owner of Poverty Lane Orchards. “This grant will help us to identify market distribution areas throughout New Hampshire, western Massachusetts, and parts of New York state where we can expand production and distribution and serve as a model for others in this industry.”Also receiving USDA funds were:• The Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, owned by Carol Soule and Bruce Dawson, is the recipient of a $64,950 grant for a feasibility study and to help develop a business plan for the farm’s free-range Scottish Highland Cattle beef products. Soule and Dawson aid they are looking to market their precooked frozen meatballs, made from beef prepared without growth hormones.• The Big Farm in Madison, which has been selected for a $15,000 grant to hire additional employees and for marketing support. The sheep farm, owned by Paul Priestman, produces sheep’s milk and cheese.“These grants provide the capital resources necessary for business growth and job creation in rural New Hampshire,” said Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development state director. “Through these investments, USDA is strengthening the economic foundation of rural New Hampshire.” – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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