Four Elements Value Added Producers Grant 2012

Jane Hawley Stevens North Freedom, WI.

The Value Added Producers Grant VAPG from the USDA
The Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) is a competitive grants program administered by the Rural Business Cooperative Service at USDA to help producers move into value-added agricultural enterprises. The program was first created under the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000. It was then expanded and improved under the 2002 Farm Bill and has now been improved even further under the 2008 Farm Bill. This program aims to provide planning and/or capital investment for value adding enterprises started by farmers and ranchers.
“There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” anonymous

Just as some members of congress want to see working farms in the landscape, I want to see people use herbs for their wellbeing.

Four Elements Background
• Established in 1987 • Bought 130 acres in the Baraboo Bluffs in 1991 • Certified Organic since 1990 • Products sell at 150 Health Food Stores across the country • Offer a free to the public field day once a year

“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting ” anonymous

What will the Grant Provide? 50% of the following:
• • • • • • • • • • • • Distributor Costs Employees New E-commerce site Hosting of Website Support of social media and P.R. person Attorney to check labels Accountant Design of Tea Packaging Printing of Packaging Booth at World Tea Expo Processing and Milling of Herbs Tech Support

Goals of Project
• Add Value to Four Elements Herbs • Expand distribution to independent grocery stores in Wisconsin, Chicago and Minneapolis • Process herbs into tea bags – 85% of people want their tea in tea bags • The grant and matching funds are all related to the processing and marketing of the valueadded product
“It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Requirements of Grant
• Must alter the state of raw commodity crop into a marketable value added product • Must enhance crops value • Keep records of expenditures/ profit and loss & much much more • Cannot buy personal property • Provide at least 50% of your crop in finished product • Allow access for inspection • Secure funding for your half of payments • Semi annual reports

Tasks to be Completed
• Hire and train equivalent of 4 new part time workers • Hire a graphic artist to create a new package design for the bagged teas • Engage a contract manufacturer to package the loose tea into tea bags • Hire distributors • Create new website • Execute social media campaign to drive traffic to website • Execute a PR campaign to create public awareness of the Four Elements Brand

Feasibility Study
Is your idea economically feasible? Study the marketplace, define your niche Is the project technically feasible? Information on Projected Site Management feasibility Determination Recommendations for Implementation
"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Ghandi

Reporting Requirements
• Financial Reports, semi-annually • These include explanation and quantification of the amount and use of Program Income • Semi- Annual Narrative Performance Reports • Comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives , how they were met or why not met • Reasons for problems, delays, or adverse conditions along with a resolution • ix. The Grantee must submit supporting documentation for completed tasks, which may • include, but is not limited to, feasibility studies, marketing plans, business plans, success • stories, best practices, legal and/or governance documents, market demand studies or • service reports, tradeshow impact reports, data or outreach materials developed, • distribution network studies, an accounting of how working capital funds were spent.

2011 Dried Herb Production
• • • • • • • Lemon Balm 24 # Nettles 16.5 # Oats 16# Holy Basil 22.25# Peppermint 6 # Spearmint 5# Many more with less volume

LEMON BALM, Melissa officinalis
1000 seedlings for the tea project Will make about 30 rows of 30 plants To harvest about 250 pounds of dried herb My favorite tea herb Calming Anti-anxiety Brings in joy Anti-viral Hardy perennial
"We should show life neither as it is or as it it ought to be, but only as we see it in our dreams." Count Leo Tolstoy

Herbal Tea Blends
• Minus Sinus
• Peace, Harmony, Tranquility

• • • • • • • • •

Joy, Love and Passion Power Energy and Stamina To Your Health Quick Thinking Telepa Tea Natural Woman Fortifying Infusion/ or Fortifying Mint Nature Calls

Why Buy Four Elements Organic Teas?
• Herbs fortify Health • Teas are a nutritious and delicious low calorie beverage choice • Four Elements Teas do not have artificial flavorings or caffeine • Hand harvested at peak potency for health and flavor • Buy Local- less shipping, ozone depletion, traffic, cost • Support local organic farm, preserve traditional farming methods • Little environmental impact – less trash!


How to apply for the grant?
• Hire a Grant Writer – you cannot do this alone, unless you are a grant writer! • Do a feasibility study • Business Plan • Submit application by the end of August

Dreams are extremely important. You cant do it unless you imagine it." - George Lucas

From Dreams to Reality
• Do what brings you joy • Simply following one step after the other opens doors you may not have imagined • I believe we are here to serve humanity in order to find joy. • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

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