From farm to frothy - Dean hop grower highlights small grants

The Victorian government has opened its latest small grant round

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More state government money for small agribusinesses.

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HOP HELP: Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited AC Hops, Dean, to launch the latest round of grants from the $10.2 small producer grants program.

HOP HELP: Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited AC Hops, Dean, to launch the latest round of grants from the $10.2 small producer grants program.

The Victorian government has announced the latest round of funding for the Small-Scale and Craft Program.

Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited AC Hops, Dean, to launch the latest round of grants from the $10.2 million program.

"We're helping producers like AC Hops to grow their business to meet the interest from people who want to know more about where their produce comes from and want to support local makers," Ms Thomas said.

"This new stream of funding will make sure even more Victorian producers can grow their business, welcome more visitors and boost local economies."

Under the program, AC Hops received funding to expand its hop yard, increasing production and enabling the business to offer a wider product range, thanks to specialised equipment including a hot pelletiser and cool room.

AC Hops owner Alistair Tippett said the funding supported the business in fast tracking its plans to give craft breweries access to local farmgate hops.

It also greatly assisted AC to purchase specialist equipment, needed to produce the best quality hops.

Ms Thomas said eligible small-scale and craft agribusinesses could apply for grants of up to $15,000 to modernise their equipment or adopt new technologies, diversify their product range, access new markets, or develop specialised skills.

Alongside AC Hops, several other small-scale and craft producers across Victoria have received grants through the program - including cultured butter manufacturers, gourmet vegetable growers, gin distillers and smoked meat producers.

Ms Thomas said the government was helping small businesses grow as a key pillar in the Agriculture Strategy, boosting visitation to regional towns, creating jobs and encouraging more Victorians to buy local.

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