81-12,159. Innovation in value-added agriculture program; established; purpose; eligibility; match required; limitation.

(1) The department shall establish an innovation in value-added agriculture program. The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to:

(a) Support small enterprise formation in the agricultural sector of Nebraska's rural economy, including innovative efforts for value-added enterprises;

(b) Support the development of agricultural communities and economic opportunity through innovation in farming and ranching operations, rural communities, and businesses for the development of value-added agricultural products;

(c) Enhance the income and opportunity for farming and ranching operations in Nebraska in order to stem the decline in their numbers;

(d) Increase the farming and ranching operations' share of the food-system profit;

(e) Enhance opportunities for farming and ranching operations to participate in electronic commerce and new and emerging markets that strengthen rural economic opportunities; and

(f) Encourage the production and marketing of specialty crops in Nebraska and support the creation and development of agricultural enterprises and businesses that produce and market specialty crops in Nebraska.

(2) Agricultural cooperatives, farming or ranching operations, and private businesses and enterprises operating in Nebraska shall be eligible for financial assistance under this section.

(3) An entity receiving financial assistance shall provide a match of twenty-five percent for such assistance.

(4) The department may award up to four million dollars per year for financial assistance under this section.

Source:Laws 2011, LB387, § 8; Laws 2015, LB449, § 4. Termination Date: December 1, 2021