Ag Grants Spur Innovation
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns awarded over $1.3 million in 26 matching grants to 21 states supporting agricultural market research and demonstration projects. These grants, provided under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, explore new and innovative approaches to marketing U.S. food and agricultural products and help improve the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.
“These 26 projects reflect the new realities of today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace,” said Johanns. “They are focused on developing innovative, more efficient and market-oriented ways to benefit our agricultural sector and support our nation’s growing economy in the 21st century.”
Three of the 21 grants went to WSU and Washington state commodity groups:
- $55,000 to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Washington Red Raspberry Commission and Washington State University, to use health-based research in support of a program to expand use of red raspberries in the production of new and existing processed products.
- $65,000 to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Cranberry Marketing Committee, to conduct national surveys of consumers and health professionals to gain insight into their knowledge, preferences and demand for cranberries and cranberry products, and to use the results to improve the industry’s marketing strategies and educational programs.
- $63,500 to the Washington Dry Pea and Lentil Commission to educate food product research and development professionals about the technical aspects and uses of various forms of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas to enhance the nutritional value of existing products and create new products using these ingredients.