Economic Edge

The Economic Edge is a location on our website where the PCED staff about blog helpful information, stories or programs.  These have come into our office from multiple sources, but we WANT to get them out to you ASAP in order that you can utilize them more fully as a resident or business owner within Phillips County.

I encourage you to stay connected with our website by tagging it as a ‘FAVORITE’.  This will help you find out more about our activities.  If you have any questions, please contact the PCED staff at 785-543-5809.

December 6, 20139 months ago

Accepting Applications for Value-Added Producer Grants

Business Programs Update

A Message from USDA Rural Development’s Business & Cooperative Programs in Kansas

December 5, 2014

USDA Rural Development Business Programs Staff in Kansas

Acting Business Programs Director:  Randy Snider
(620) 365-2901, Ext. 1430


Doug Bruggeman
Business Programs Specialist
(785) 628-3081, Ext. 1435


Katie Casper
Business Programs Specialist
(620) 365-2901, Ext. 1427


David Kramer
Business Programs Specialist
(785) 271-2700, Ext. 2736


Nancy Pletcher
Business Programs Specialist
(785) 271-2700, Ext. 2733




USDA is Accepting Applications for Value-Added Producer Grants

USDA Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) assist agricultural producers increase the value of an agricultural commodity in the processing or marketing stage. 


Wine Barn, based in Wyandotte County, received a VAPG grant in 2013 to help increase production of its wine and to enhane the company’s marketing efforts.

VAPG Grant Details

Deadline:  February 24, 2014

Eligible Applicants:  Independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority controlled producer-based business ventures.

Eligible Projects:  To be considered a value-added agricultural product, the agricultural commodity must fall within one of five methodologies: change in physical state or form of product, production or marketing of a product in a manner that enhances its value, physical segregation of an agricultural commodity or product that results in enhancement of the value of that commodity, using ag product or commodity to produce renewable energy on a farm or ranch, and local foods projects.

Eligible Purposes:  There are two types of grants: planning grants and working capital grants. Both types of USDA Value-Added Producer grant requests must be matched dollar for dollar with private or in-kind funds. Planning grants are commonly used to pay third-party consultants to develop feasibility studies or business plans for value-added activities. Working capital grants are used to expand the operations or market of existing value-added products. Working capital grants cannot be used to build facilities, in the production of raw products, or to purchase manufacturing equipment.

Grant Funds Available:  Nationally there is $10.5 million available for VAPG.   The maximum grant amount is $75,000 for planning grants and $200,000 for working capital grants.  Matching grant funds are required.

VAPG Application:  The VAPG grant application, forms, and additional information can be downloaded at:

Contact Information:  Grants are awarded on a competitive basis at the national level.  Staff is available to ensure applications are complete, eligible and competitive.  In Kansas, contact Nancy Pletcher, USDA Rural Development Business Programs Specialist in Topeka at (785) 271-2700, Ext. 2733, or

Past Kansas VAPG Recipients

Six Kansas agricultural businesses received financing through the Value Added Producer Grant program in the past two years that totaled more than $725,000.

  • Brown Honey Farms, Inc. based in Washington County received a $300,000 grant to develop additional markets and products using raw honey.
  • Johannes Farms based in Brown County received a $9,400 grant to dehull, process, package and market food-grade oats.
  • McCarty Family Farms, LLC based in Thomas County received a $300,000 grant to expand its dairy processing facility to provide pasteurized skimmed condensed milk to the Dannon Company to process into yogurt.
  • Schmidt Farms, Inc., based in Rawlins County received a $49,714 grant to expand its beef product line to include chicken and add an additional market.
  • Thayer Feed, LLC based in Neosho County received a $46,945 grant to process organic chicken feed into consumer-friendly packages.
  • Wine Barn, based in Wyandotte County, Kan., received a $25,000 grant to ramp up production of its wine by more than 40 percent in the next two years, as well as overhauling the company’s website.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)

October 2, 201311 months ago

Magazine for Western Kansas Economic Development

In 2013, the first ever western Kansas Economic Development magazine was published and circulated both locally and online.  This project was a bold new marketing campaign led by wKREDA members and Journal Publications.  In this 1st edition magazine, there are several amazing stories.  Phillips County and the development occurring within this area is described in a special advertising section of the magazine starting on page 39.

July 17, 20131 year ago

2013 Kansas Procurement Conference and Business Matchmaking

2013 Kansas Procurement Conference and Business Matchmaking


Place: Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview Wichita
400 West Douglas Avenue
Wichita, Kansas 67202
Date: August 13, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The 2013 Kansas Procurement Conference and Business Matchmaking brings buyers and suppliers together for pre-matched, one-on-one meetings to discuss current or future procurement opportunities. Educational Workshops run concurrently throughout the day, and are designed with the needs of small businesses. All registrants may attend.
HOW BUSINESS MATCHMAKING WORKSMatches are generated using the NAICS codes provided by suppliers and those requested by buyers.  These 15-minute, face-t0-face meetings serve as an opportunity for suppliers to be connected with buyers such as procurement representatives from larger companies as well as government agencies.  As suppliers pre-register for the event and schedule meetings with matched buyers, buyers can view supplier profiles and monitor their confirmed meetings.


Click here to register today
(or go to:

May 2, 20131 year ago

Destination Business Bootcamp-Jon Schallert-June 4-6



Hope to see you at one of our 2013 BootCamps:

Our March BootCamp is done. Register for one of our remaining BootCamps.

June 4-6

October 1-3

“This is the single most important thing you can do for your business.  This separates the men from the boys.  If you want success, fun & excitement in your business & life – GO TO BOOTCAMP!”

Jon Schallert is an internationally recognized speaker and business expert specializing in teaching businesses and communities how to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations.  His 2-1/2 Day BootCamp is for you if you are a business owner, a retailer, an entrepreneur thinking of starting a business, or a person interested in learning the strategies of creating a Consumer Destination.  This BootCamp is for business owners who want to accelerate their learning curve, receive in-depth instruction, strategies, and specific tactics on how to become a dominant Destination Business, which can pull consumers past your competition.  When you return from Jon’s BootCamp, you will be light-years ahead of your competition.  If your goal is to make your business stronger and more profitable, or make it more desirable to sell when you decide to retire, you can’t afford to miss this.  You will not only know what to change in your business to become a Destination, but you will know what to do next, and you will have the tools to get there.

This BootCamp is also for you if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

  1. Are you dissatisfied with the performance of your business?
  2. Would you like to increase customer loyalty?
  3. Would you like to increase customer traffic?
  4. Would you like to keep local customers spending with you, and not out-of-town?
  5. Is your business losing dollars to competition like Wal-Mart and Home Depot?
  6. Is your business experiencing falling or flat sales levels?
  7. Would you like to learn how to run your business more effectively, and quit having it run you?


Cost to attend the BootCamp: $1,295.00. Additional persons from the same business: $1,095.00 per person


Plan to arrive the day before Day 1 of the BootCamp:  We will have an Open House from 5-7 p.m. for our attendees to meet Jon and other BootCamp attendees before Day 1 begins.

Day 1:  Check-in between 7:30 – 7:55 a.m. Then be ready to start at 8:00 a.m. sharp. You will have breaks every 75-minutes during the day and a wonderful buffet hot lunch will be served as part of your registration fee. Day 1 is long, so be rested and ready. Dinner will be on your own. There are a choice of many restaurants within walking distance from the BootCamp location. Individual meetings will be scheduled for the evening and you will have homework.

Day 2: Begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp with the schedule similar to Day 1. You will have a hot buffet lunch, dinner will be on your own, and individual meetings will continue throughout the evening.

Day 3: Begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp and will end around noon.  You will be able to leave at noon when the BootCamp officially ends, so if you are flying, you can make your return flight reservations for mid-afternoon or evening on this day.

To Register, click here

To find out more about our Community Reinvention Program, click here




Know any youth who have great business ideas?

They could have a chance to pitch the idea to Warren Buffet! For more information click here!

Grant Program for state and local attorneys

Governor Sam Brownback recently announced a grants program for state and local attorneys who serve full-time as prosecutors or public-defenders. The grant funds are available from the Federal John R. Justice Grant Program for calendar year 2013.

The purpose of this grant program is to provide student loan repayment assistance prosecutors and public defenders who commit to serving for at least three years. The available grant award is $51,252, which will be split evenly between prosecutors ($25,626) and public defenders ($25,626). Federal John R. Justice Grant funds awarded under this program are a supplement to personal student loan obligations. Attorney who are in default on repayment of federal students loans are ineligible.

Contact John Cronister for a grant application. He is available at (785) 291-3205 or Applicants must submit the required materials to the Kansas Governor’s

Grants Program by 11:59 p.m. on October 26, 2012.

Drought, Impact on Food Production

Kansas Ag Secretary Rodman to Speak Nov. 5 On Drought, Impact on Food Production

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, Dale Rodman, will speak at Kansas State University at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in the K-State Student Union Main Ballroom. The lecture is the fifth installment of the Upson Lecture Series, sponsored by the K-State student and young alumni group, Food For Thought.

Rodman will address pertinent issues surrounding the recent drought and how it has affected food production and the agriculture industry’s challenge of feeding the world. The impending increase in the cost of food, which affects families from all demographics, will be discussed at length. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Rodman grew up farming and raising cattle with his family in southeast Kansas. A feed milling graduate of Kansas State University, he spent 37 years at Cargill, Inc. working alongside agribusiness professionals. He also served four years as president of Tramco, Inc. and has traveled the world on behalf of food production.

Rodman’s experience in grain processing, meat processing, milling and many other facets of agriculture led him to be called out of retirement in 2011 by Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as the secretary of agriculture.

Food for Thought, the lecture series’ sponsor, is a grass-roots group of K-Staters who strive to bridge the gap between consumers and agriculture. The group includes undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, as well as young alumni, who work under the guidance of Dan Thomson, the director of K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute and Don Boggs, associate dean of the K-State College of Agriculture.

The Upson lecture series is named after Dan Upson, K-State retired professor emeritus. Upson taught in K-State’s College of Veterinary medicine for 35 years before retiring with emeritus status in 1994. He has received numerous awards for his dedication to classroom teaching and the veterinary profession.

More information about Food For Thought is available on the group’s blog, on Twitter or on Facebook.

For more information about the lecture, contact Brandi Buzzard, a Food For Thought member, at or 785-532-1123.


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