Alberta s agricultural producers are encouraged to take advantage of the Growing Forward business opportunity program to help transform existing operations or pursue new ventures to capitalize on changes in the marketplace and consumer demands.
The business opportunity grant program is targeted at Alberta s primary agriculture producers and producer groups adapting their business to meet changing market and consumer demands. New entrants to the industry starting up a primary production business venture are also eligible.
The grants support contracting services that contribute to making informed and calculated business decisions to take a new business direction. Examples of eligible expenses include opportunity assessments, market research, business management consulting or coaching for a new direction, business and marketing plans, and mentoring for developing or diversifying a farming operation.
Business opportunity applications are supported on a cost-shared basis. Grants cover 75 per cent of eligible expenses for approved activities and applicants cover 25 per cent, with grants awarded up to a maximum of $30,000 per applicant.
Business opportunity grants are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, as per program terms and conditions and limited funding. Producers are encouraged to apply soon to take advantage of the program. Applicants must first be registered with Alberta s Growing Forward initiative, then contact an Agriculture and Rural Development new venture specialist to submit a program application and budget that outlines how the grant will help their business respond to market demands.
Full terms and conditions are available online at www.growing-forward. alberta.ca or by calling the Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).