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AIC Eligibility

To be eligible for AURI’s Center, proposed value‐added agricultural projects must benefit agricultural products, demonstrate a positive impact to the agricultural economy and have commercial viability. Clients must also demonstrate the capacity and intent to commercialize their concept upon project completion. AURI works with a client to plan, monitor, and implement a proposed project. Crop and livestock production projects are not eligible.

Important Definitions:

7 CFR § 4284.3 Definition of Value-Added:
Value-Added – The incremental value that is realized by the producer from an agricultural commodity or product as the result of a change in its physical state, differentiated production or marketing, as demonstrated in a business plan, or Product segregation. Also, the economic benefit realized from the production of farm or ranch-based renewable energy. Incremental value may be realized by the producer as a result of either an increase in value to buyers or the expansion of the overall market for the product. Examples include milling wheat into flour, slaughtering livestock or poultry, making strawberries into jam, the marketing of organic products, an identity-preserved marketing system, wind or hydro power produced on land that is farmed and collecting and converting methane from animal waste to generate energy. Identity-preserved marketing systems include labeling that identifies how the product was produced and by whom.

7 CFR 4284.1004 Definition of Producer Services:
Producer Services—Services to be provided by the Centers to agricultural producers. Producer Services consist of the following types of services:

  1. Technical assistance, consisting of engineering services, applied research, Scale Production Assessments, and similar services, to enable the agricultural producers to establish businesses to produce Value-Added agricultural commodities or products;
  2. Assistance in marketing, market development and business planning, including advisory services with respect to leveraging capital assets; and
  3. Organizational, outreach and development assistance to increase the viability, growth and sustainability of businesses that produce Value-Added agricultural commodities or products.

§ 4284.3 Definitions of Agricultural Producer:

Persons or entities, including farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and fishermen, that engage in the production or harvesting of an agricultural product. Producers may or may not own the land or other production resources, but must have majority ownership interest in the agricultural product to which Value-Added is to accrue as a result of the project. Examples of agricultural producers include: a logger who has a majority interest in the logs harvested that are then converted to boards, a fisherman that has a majority interest in the fish caught that are then smoked, a wild herb gatherer that has a majority interest in the gathered herbs that are then converted into essential oils, a cattle feeder that has a majority interest in the cattle that are fed, slaughtered and sold as boxed beef, and a corn grower that has a majority interest in the corn produced that is then converted into corn meal. An agricultural producer is a farmer, rancher, fisherman, or forestry harvester who produces or harvests (and owns) the product to which value will be added. An agricultural producer is not an entity (including an individual) who buys an agricultural product from someone else and then adds value. An agricultural producer adding value to his or her product can purchase additional product up to the amount of their own product. That is, over 50 percent of the product to which value is being added must be produced by the agricultural producer.