Wallaces Farmer

Choose Iowa grants will help farmers, small businesses and nonprofits expand and diversify the availability of Iowa-grown, -raised and -processed products.

March 14, 2023

4 Min Read
Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, at lectern
GRANTS TO EXPAND, DIVERSIFY FARMS: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig recently announced the 28 winners of Choose Iowa grants to help expand and diversify their farms.Jennifer Carrico

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced March 8 that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has awarded 28 Choose Iowa cost-share grants to Iowa farmers, small businesses and nonprofits totaling $463,000. Naig made the announcement during an event at Jasper Winery, one of the grant awardees.

These Choose Iowa cost-share grants were created to assist Iowa farmers, businesses and nonprofits with their efforts to increase or diversify their agricultural product offerings, expand markets and shorten the supply chain.

“Choose Iowa is about connecting consumers to the great products that Iowans are growing, raising and processing in communities of all sizes across our state,” Naig said. “As Choose Iowa builds into an easily recognizable brand that can be used by farmers, producers, processors, farmers markets, food retailers and many others in the supply chain, these cost-share grants will help build capacity to meet the growing consumer demand for Iowa products.”

The grants will support a wide variety of projects, including cider production from Iowa-grown apples; fruit and vegetable processing; cold storage for meat, expanded processing of dairy products, hydroponic lettuce and microgreens; Iowa-grown flowers; beer production from Iowa honey; and many more.

These cost-share dollars leverage additional private investment. The highly competitive grant application process has yielded grant requests totaling nearly $3.3 million during the first two years of the program, a number far exceeding available funding.

Grant winners

Choose Iowa grant allocations that were awarded March 8 include the following:

  1. That Iowa Girl, Panora. $25,000 to increase warehouse capacity to expand markets for more small Iowa producers. Total project budget of $65,702.

  2. Van Manen Sweet Corn & Fresh Produce, Kellogg. $25,000 to construct a processing facility with customer pickup location and storage. Total project budget of $65,441.

  3. The Lavender Farm at Sutliff LLC, Lisbon. $6,000 to expand lavender processing capacity and offer value-added products. Total project budget of $12,000.

  4. Echollective Farm, Mechanicsville. $16,000 to expand cold storage and add fruit and vegetable processing. Total project budget of $38,287.

  5. Farm Story Meats, Ames. $25,000 to increase cold storage capacity for direct-to-consumer meat sales. Total project budget of $55,374.

  6. Walker Homestead Farm & Winery Inc., Iowa City. $25,000 to increase wine production capacity utilizing Iowa-grown grapes. Total project budget of $78,879.

  7. Jasper Winery, Des Moines. $25,000 to add cider production capacity using Iowa-grown apples. Total project budget of $65,000.

  8. Field to Family, Iowa City. $25,000 to purchase a refrigerated truck to expand food hub operations and local food distribution. Total project budget of $63,000.

  9. Over the Moon Farm & Flowers LLC, Coggon. $10,000 to establish and increase storage and distribution space for Iowa pasture-raised Pekin duck meat. Total project budget of $20,676.

  10. Kittleson Brothers, St. Ansgar. $14,000 to expand cold storage and improve potato sizing and processing. Total project budget of $28,000.

  11. Meat & Greet LLC, Comanche. $25,000 to enable direct-to-consumer meat sales. Total project budget of $74,900.

  12. Organic Greens LLC, Kalona. $25,000 to enhance fruit and vegetable processing and expand cold storage capacity. Total project budget of $57,894.

  13. Pleasant Grove Homestead, Montezuma. $25,000 to build cold storage and processing space for direct-to-consumer sales of pastured poultry, pork and honey. Total project budget of $295,000.

  14. Urban Greens, Iowa City. $12,045 to improve processing and packaging equipment and cold storage capacity. Total project budget of $24,091.

  15. Brewer Family Farms LLC, Dallas Center. $14,960 to add value-added meats for schools through the Farm to School program. Total project budget of $29,920.

  16. Brightside Aleworks, Altoona. $18,000 to add gluten-free brewing capacity using Iowa honey. Total project budget of $41,150.

  17. Noble Provisions LLC, Griswold. $2,110 to expand meat subscription service to include direct-to-consumer sales. Total project budget of $4,220.

  18. Central Iowa Shelter Services, Des Moines. $25,000 to add capabilities for online sales of tilapia and hydroponic lettuce. Total project budget of $51,460.

  19. Andrew Pesek Farms, Coggon. $20,000 to incorporate tree transplanting equipment to diversify farm operations. Total project budget of $40,000.

  20. Picket Fence Creamery LLC, Woodward. $25,000 to increase production capacity for new value-added dairy products. Total project budget of $50,000.

  21. Feed Iowa First, Cedar Rapids. $3,000 to purchase hoop house and small grain mill processing equipment for culturally relevant foods and tender greens. Total project budget of $6,000.

  22. Twisted River Farm, Mitchell. $6,000 to establish an on-farm store, enhance vegetable processing and increase cold storage capacity. Total project budget of $13,000.

  23. Clovergold Flower Farm, Newell. $3,700 to increase floral production and mitigate drought. Total project budget of $8,000.

  24. Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard, Council Bluffs. $12,325 to purchase production efficiency equipment. Total project budget of $75,000.

  25. Mossycup Farms, Clear Lake. $4,173 to upgrade on-farm commercial kitchen processing capacity from small-batch to larger-scale production, and increase farm store capacity to offer additional value-added products. Total project budget of $8,347.

  26. Lutheran Services in Iowa, Des Moines. $4,402 to increase produce processing capacity and enhance equipment for incubator farm produce raised by farmers not born in the U.S. Total project budget of $8,804.

  27. Jeff Loehr Farm, Moorland. $24,500 to purchase dedicated processing equipment enabling in-state processing of Kernza perennial intermediate wheatgrass. Total project budget of $53,970.

  28. Soldier Creek Winery, Fort Dodge. $16,204 to expand market and distribution of Iowa wines and food. Total project budget of $53,970.

Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like