The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a Pierre, South Dakota, organization more than $200,000 to form and expand cooperatives. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Value-Added Agriculture Development Center was one of 36 organizations in 26 states selected for the grant that helps rural cooperatives and small businesses expand.

Vilsack says the South Dakota center will receive $225,000 in grant money. Organizations can use the grant money for feasibility studies, business plans or to develop new markets for their products and services.

The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. PD


—From AP newswire