Oklahoma’s Agricultural Enhancement and Diversification program can now provide diversification grants of up to $10,000. Previously the largest grant available was $5,000. Deadline for this quarter’s applications is October 1.

Diversification grants target farmers who want to raise non-traditional crops or livestock, conduct value-added processing or those in agritourism.

“There are three levels of grants,” said Rick Maloney, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry marketing director. “The first level consists of grants of up to $2,500 and these do not require any form of matching funds or in-kind support. The next level is grants of $2,500-$5,000 and these require a 25 percent match in either cash or in-kind contribution.

“The third level requires dollar for dollar matching funds and these grants can be made for up to $10,000,” he said. “Applicants at this level will also be required to make a presentation to the OAED board of directors for consideration.”

Interest-free loans are also available for individuals or producer groups to assist in cooperative marketing, business plan development and feasibility studies.

ODAFF coordinators Jason Harvey and Gary Bledsoe are experienced in dealing with both loan and grant applications and can frequently offer advice to applicants. Harvey’s phone number is (405) 522-5563. Bledsoe can be reached at (405) 830-1341.

Applications and additional information are available online atwww.oda.state.ok.us or by calling Jason Harvey at the ODAFF. Harvey’s mailing address is: Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105.