Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced March 7 that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has awarded 28 Choose Iowa cost-share grants to Iowa farmers, small businesses and nonprofits totaling $463,000.

The Choose Iowa grants were created in 2022 to increase or diversify agricultural product offerings, expand markets and shorten the supply chain, according to a news release. The grants will support various projects, including cider production from Iowa-grown apples, cold storage for meat, and hydroponic lettuce and microgreens. The total budget of the 28 projects that received grants this year is $1.4 million.

“As Choose Iowa builds into an easily recognizable brand that can be used by farmers, producers, processors, farmers markets, food retailers and many others in the supply chain, these cost-share grants will help build capacity to meet the growing consumer demand for Iowa products,” Naig said in a prepared statement.

The cost-share dollars leverage additional private investment, the release said. The grant application process yielded grant requests totaling nearly $3.3 million in the first two years of the program, which exceeds available funding. A full list of the grant awardees is available at this link.