Local governments can get up to $15,000 for private enterprises in their areas to determine the success of a new or expanding agricultural processing operation.

The Agricultural Processing Feasibility Grant program is administered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which is accepting applications for this year's allocation of funds.

"Thanks to the Colorado Economic Development Commission, there is $50,000 available this year to study the feasibility of agricultural processing operations," said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Ament. "With most commodity market prices at all time lows, this is an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to add viability to their agricultural operations."

Private enterprises can approach their local government with an idea to add value to an agricultural product. The local government than applies for the feasibility grants. A committee reviews all applications and selects those to receive funding. The project leaders can then use the money to finance research on management, marketing financing and processing.

Applications will be accepted Jan. 1 through March 1, 2000. For application forms and guidelines, please contact the Markets Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, at 303-239-4114.

New forms have been issued for the 2000 program. Please do not use forms or guidelines from previous years.

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