The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission started in 1979 as an ethanol incentive plan. Over time, legislators thought it would be the perfect program to promote value-added agriculture.

Now the program hands out millions in grants annually.

Value-added agriculture is increasing the value of a raw agricultural product. So many products are shipped out of state for processing, so in-state processing and usage keeps more money from crossing state lines.

Projects funded in 2015

• Sponsorship in Williston's annual Mon-Dak Ag Showcase calendar: $1,000 

• Grand Forks-based Field of View's thermal aerial mapping prototype: $18,000

• BisMan Community Food Co-op marketing: $52,400

• Bowdon Meat Processing marketing and refrigerated trailer: $16,380

• Marketing, equipping and study of a cold-resistant grape nursery and winery at Chateau Moravia north of Bismarck: $119,500

• North Dokata State University Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics study of APUC's efficiency: $50,000

• Salaries and equipment for a demonstration plant, owned by Fargo's Amity Technology, that would convert agricultural waste into industrial chemicals: $162,000

• Research, permitting and design costs to expand production at Dakota Specialty Milling in Fargo: $200,000

• Research and marketing for Leeds-based Bison Compost LLP, a bison manure compost business: $135,100

• Equipment for Farmtastic Heritage Foods' commercial kitchen in Rugby, used to process fresh produce from small growers throughout the state: $53,445

• North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences research study for cold-resistant raspberries: $30,500

• Marketing study for addition of full-service winery at Fluffy Fields Vineyard in Dickinson: $60,950

• Marketing of Whapeton's Giant Snacks new products and sales in new regions: $152,000

• North Dakota State University Department of Veterinary and Microbiological science research study of anti-microbial biomaterial: $74,800

• Consultant fees for study of employee attraction and retention at Mandan's Cloverdale Foods Company: $24,500

• Market research for potential craft malting company in Bismarck: $72,300

• Marketing costs for Cando-based Bekstrom Foods: $200,000

• Patent and marketing costs for new grain moisture tester: $14,700

• Sponsorship of the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Program's annual meeting: $1,000

• Bismarck-based LL International's marketing of North Dakota oilseeds and specialty crops to foreign markets: $5,250

• Sponsorship of the North Dakota State FFA Convention: $1,000

• Consultant fees for fundraising and construction of a multi-species slaughter facility near Grafton: $35,900

• Graduate student salary for North Dakota State University Department of Animal and Range Sciences dairy-related study: $48,000

• Marketing and recruiting costs for a Prairie Roots Food Cooperative location in Fargo: $57,500

• Equipment for hops planting and harvesting at Carrington-based Ostlie's Sunny Side Acres: $26,250

• Wedding facility expansion at Kindred's Red Barn & Berry Farm: $26,250

• Sponsorship of Rural Leadership North Dakota seminar: $500

(Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com)

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Business Reporter