USDA will pay for staff to market and sell farm’s products.
MAHARISHI VEDIC CITY — The United States Department of Agriculture has announced it will give a $144,700 grant to Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organics to fund the marketing and sale of organic salad greens and sunflower oil.
Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organics is the arm of Maharishi Vedic City that runs the city’s organic farm, which grew a crop of sunflowers during the last growing season.
Bob Wynne, mayor of Vedic City, said the $144,700 from the government will pay for a full-time sales and marketing person, staff for processing, and the creating of a marketing and branding program for selling the farm’s products.
Salad ingredients will be grown in greenhouses, he said, and sunflowers will be processed into organic sunflower oil to be sold wholesale in 55-gallon drums and retail in 1.5-liter bottles.
Wynne said the federal funds will be matched with about $160,000 in cash and in-kind services from Vedic City.
According to press releases from Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Tom Harkin, the $144,700 for Vedic City’s organic farm is part of $2.8 million in grants awarded to businesses across Iowa.
The money comes from the USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program, which was expanded as part of the 2002 farm bill.