Rolla, MO – August 12, 2011 – Grove Dairy Products, a cooperative founded by two Mountain Grove area dairy farmers, is one of six Missouri Enterprise clients to receive a Value-Added Grant from the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), according to Grove Dairy founders Duncan Smith and Stacey McCallister.

          Both Smith and McCallister are long time Mountain Grove dairy farmers whose families have been in the dairy business for several generations.

            Grove Dairy Products will use the award for a feasibility study and marketing and business plans for the establishment of a dairy processing plant in Wright County. The study will focus on identifying the potential benefits of and markets for value-added locally produced dairy products like fresh yogurt and cheese.

            Smith and McCallister also acknowledged assistance from a number of other local dairy farmers and businessmen including David Melton and David McCroskey.

            Missouri State University’s School of Agriculture, Sassafras Valley Ag Consultants and Missouri Enterprise will work with Grove Dairy Products’ management team to conduct the study and develop the marketing and business plans, Smith and McCallister said.             

            The number of dairy farmers and milk production in Missouri has declined 50 percent in the last 15 years, resulting in a negative economic impact in local economies,

affecting feed dealers, equipment suppliers, milk haulers, veterinarians and other businesses.

            “If this project moves forward and results in a new dairy processing facility, it will enable the grant recipients, and other area dairy farmers, to bring new value-added products to the marketplace while generating economic activity and creating jobs in the area,” said Dusty Cruise, president and chief executive officer of Missouri Enterprise.

            The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority is a bipartisan commission that helps new and expanding agricultural producers finance their operations and add value to their products through a variety of programs, including the Value-Added Grant program.

          The other five Missouri Enterprise clients selected to receive Value-Added Grants are Show Me Energy Cooperative, Centerview, Scaggs Rock-N-Lime, Patterson, Heintz Processing, Cuba, Hampton Alternative Energy Products, LLC, Brunswick and Boeckmann Family Farm, Loose Creek.

          Missouri Enterprise, composed of experienced manufacturing and business management professionals, is part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the largest consulting organization in the nation focused on small- and medium-sized manufacturers; and is supported by the Missouri Technology Corporation.

          For more than 28 years, Missouri Enterprise has helped manufacturing companies transform themselves with innovative business and growth strategies, productivity improvements and ISO/quality management systems so they can enjoy profitable growth and prepare for success in the next generation and beyond.