More than $34 million dollars in funding was awarded to Rural Missouri business owners.

It’s part of the Rural Development program to help create better employment opportunities and strengthen Missouri’s Economy.

Officials report that one of the recipients is Daddio’s Soda Shop in Morgan County.

The $410,000 loan helped owner Jason Hughes purchase the shop and a boat dock on the Lake area, in order to provide ice cream, snow cones and lake essentials to customers.



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Investments Will Create or Save Nearly 400 Jobs in Rural Missouri

COLUMBIA, MO., Feb. 2, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens announced today that USDA is investing $34,065,685 to support businesses and provide technical assistance, ultimately stimulating business creation and growth throughout rural Missouri (PDF, 136 KB).

“The programs USDA Rural Development offers for rural residents and businesses are advantageous in assisting rural communities so that they can thrive and grow,” said Wilkens. “Today’s announcement underlines the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic commitment to helping transform the economy and will create or save nearly 400 good-paying jobs and economic opportunities for rural Missourians.”

Wilkens highlighted 25 projects that USDA is making in four programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Business & Industry Loan Guarantees (B&I), Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), Rural Economic Development (REDLG), and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG). These investments will help companies hire more workers, reach new customers, provide job training, expand operations, encourage entrepreneurial endeavors, and reach new markets. Listed below is a sampling of the projects being announced in Missouri (the full list of recipients is linked above):

  • Seth Ehlers will use a $25,850 B&I loan guarantee to complete the construction of Cedar County Meat Market, LLC; earlier in the year he received a $306,000 B&I loan guarantee for the initial construction project. Mr. Ehlers and his wife Jamie are fourth generation farmers and cattle producers in rural Cedar County. Cedar County Meat Market, LLC will allow the Ehlers to process their own beef and provide custom beef and pork processing for ag producers in the county and surrounding areas. In addition to custom processing, a retail store will offer locally sourced meats and other products directly to the consumer.
  • Jason Hughes received a $410,000 loan to purchase a commercial restaurant and boat dock on the Lake of the Ozarks. Daddio’s Soda Shop will cater to families visiting and living on the lake by providing ice cream, snow cones, quick serve food items, a full-service bar, and lake convenience essentials.
  • White River Valley Electric Cooperative will use a $998,760 REDLG loan to assist Canon Concrete with its business start-up. Canon Concrete will supply a quality concrete ready-mix to Christian County and the surrounding area. The company will be set apart from the competition with its delivery method, using a front discharge mixer truck which allows for precise product placement, enabling contractors to have great jobsite efficiency and more time for a quality finish.
  • Hemme Dairy, LLC will utilize a $242,000 VAPG grant to assist in the processing and marketing of cheese derived from its dairy farm in Sweet Springs.
  • A $34,362 VAPG grant will assist Nature Fresh Poultry, LLC in the processing and marketing of fruits and vegetables derived from its farm in Fulton.
  • Vox Vineyards will receive a $192,000 VAPG grant to help process and market wine derived from its vineyards in Kansas City.

Today’s announcements come as part of a larger, nationwide announcement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack where he announced USDA is investing $1.4 billion to support local businesses in 49 states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combatting the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit

Contact USDA Rural Development

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting, by calling (573) 876-0976, or by emailing

USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.

If you’d like to subscribe to Missouri USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page