Applications for grants to assist in diversifying Oklahoma agricultural producers and interest free loans to promote value-added processing ventures or cooperative marketing programs must be submitted by October 2, at the state agriculture department.

The Oklahoma Agricultural Enhancement and Diversification program accepts applications only four times per year and Rick Maloney, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Marketing Director, said this is an opportunity for producers with creative ideas to receive financial assistance.

Any project that can help producers become more economically secure and bring business to rural areas may be eligible for the program.

Both interest-free loans and grants are available in four categories: Cooperative Marketing Loan, Marketing and Utilization Loan, Basic and Applied Research Loan/Grant and Farm Diversification Grant.

Loans may not be used to purchase land, buildings or equipment. They may be used for feasibility studies, business plans, legal expenses, consultant fees, product development and marketing.

Applications are available online from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at www.oda.state.ok.us by clicking on the “Loans” link. For more information, contact Jason Harvey at (405) 522-5563. The mailing address is Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105.