Present USDA Grant Funds

USDA Rural Development officials presented a grant to Todd Geisert Farms to conduct a feasibility study on a grocery store that would offer natually raised, local food products. From left are Brendan Fahey, representative with Claire McCaskill’s office; Megan Boedges, producer; Phyllis Minner, area director for USDA Rural Development; Todd Geisert; Matt Moore, business program director for USDA Rural Development; Janie Dunning, state director for USDA Rural Development; Jimmy Story, business programs manager with USDA Rural Development; and Charlie Hopper, Agri-Missouri coordinator with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The grant was for $25,000 and will include studying the best location for the grocery store.

USDA Rural Development officials visited the Todd and Katie Geisert farm Tuesday, Sept. 23, to present a Value-Added Producer Grant award of $25,000 to Farm To You LLC.

Funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study to determine if there is enough interest for a grocery store in the Washington area that would feature naturally-raised, local food product.

“Access to local foods is good for everyone,” said Anita Dunning, Missouri state director. “Consumers benefit from fresh produce and meats and the ability to assist local economic development.

“Additionally, by providing funding to Farm To You, LLC to conduct a feasibility study, Rural Development acknowledges the importance of promoting entrepreneurship and creating businesses which can support and enhance a rural community,” Dunning said.

She added that the USDA Rural Development is proud to partner with the Geisert farm in its efforts to strengthen the community.

The Geisert family has been farming and raising pigs on their family farm since 1916. They sell pigs, hogs and fresh meat cuts, produce and fall decorations at a small roadside stand at their farm.

They also provide a number of specialized grocery stores and restaurants with products from their farm.

The plan for Farm To You has several phases, including opening a grocery store, then a distribution center for wholesale business and eventually a commercial kitchen to allow for additional farm-made products.

The vision will provide a home for both their products and products of other local farmers and producers.

The Value-Added Grant program is intended to help producers increase revenues through value-added activities that expand the customer base for their products or commodities.