The Missouri Department of Agriculture has announced that the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is accepting applications for the 2011 Dairy Business Planning Grant Program. 
This funding will enable Missouri’s dairy producers to work with qualified dairy business planning professionals to develop a business plan to facilitate startup, improve profitability, increase production and encourage modernization and expansion of dairy farms in Missouri..  Funding for the grant is being provided by the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Dairy Growth Council.
“The Dairy Industry is vitally important to Missouri, and as such we greatly appreciate the investments of organizations like the Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Dairy Growth Council,” said Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler.  “These business planning grants will help farmers as they seek innovative ways to grow and further develop their existing operations as well as provide needed assistance to those who want to enter the dairy industry.”
The Dairy Planning Grant shall not exceed $5,000 or finance more than 90 percent of the cost of the business plan, whichever is less. The dairy producer is required to pay at least 10 percent of the cost of the work done. Applications will be scored competitively.
Applications are online at mda.mo.gov and must be received by MASBDA no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2011. For more information, contact MASBDA at (573) 751-2129 or masbda@mda.mo.gov.
For more information on the grant or to view an application packet, visit mda.mo.gov.