Will Support 20 jobs in Rapides Parish
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced a $200,000 USDA Rural Development grant will be awarded to Grade A Crawfish, LLC, a new small business in Cheneyville, La., owned by Wyn and Jared Allen and will begin employing about 20 individuals. This funding will provide resources for Grade A Crawfish, LLC to improve packaging, marketing and working capital that will allow the business to grow and create more jobs in Rapides Parish.
Grade A Crawfish, LLC currently serves six parishes across central Louisiana and will be able to offer jobs to hard-working residents of Rapides, Avoyelles and Evangeline parishes in the coming future. Wyn Allen has been farming for 35 years and his son, Jared, will spearhead the opening of their family business in Rapides Parish.
"Providing access to capital to small businesses and small business start ups like Grade A Crawfish will help us grow businesses already in our communities and add jobs along the Main Streets in Cheneyville," Sen. Landrieu said. "Today's loan is not only an investment in one company, but an investment in our crawfish farmers who harvest 110 million pounds of crawfish each year contributing nearly $120 million to Louisiana's economy."
"It makes me proud to be given this opportunity to take the crawfish my father has raised and turn it into a business. We will be using the matching grant funds to advertise our business and to promote the quality of our farm-raised product," said Jared Allen, co-owner of Grade A Crawfish, LLC. "This program is going to help our business be successful in the economy and provide jobs for local citizens. We want to thank Senator Landrieu and USDA for giving us this opportunity to start a family business."
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Value-Added Producer Grant program. The program helps agricultural producers grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value-added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products. It is made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, a bill in which Sen. Landrieu actively fought to ensure Louisiana seafood producers, rice and sugarcane farmers and the forestry industry received significant funding and programs to help them grow production and employment levels.