Sacramento-based Blue Diamond is one of seven California recipients of USDA Rural Development funds. The California grants total $719,914.
Altogether, 247 businesses in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Micronesia were awarded $25 million. Michigan Blueberry Growers Association, for example, was granted $200,000 to pay for processing costs at a Georgia packing plant.
Other California recipients included Sunsweet Growers Inc., $200,000; and River Bend Orchards LLC, $38,000.
Funding, made possible by the 2014 farm bill, aims to help producers expand agriculture operations and create new products.
“This program is just one of many that USDA Rural Development offers to support rural communities and help develop strong local and regional food systems,” Glenda Humiston, state director, said in a news release announcing the California grants.