USDA Helps Agricultural Producers Bring Increased Value to Their Products
USDA announced today that agricultural producers are invited to apply for grants to increase the value of their products. The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program.
Applicants have until October 15, 2012 to apply for the Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG). USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million in grants available for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce bio-based products from agricultural commodities.
Contact your USDA Rural Development State Office if you have questions about eligibility or submission requirements. You are encouraged to contact your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and to ask any questions about the application process. You may request technical assistance from your State Office up to 14 days prior to the application deadline. Application materials are available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html.
The grants, which are competitively awarded, are available for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income are the goals of the VAPG program.
Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to operators of small and medium-sized farms or ranches that are structured as family farms, beginning farmers or ranchers, or those owned by socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Grants are available for projects up to 36 months in duration.
Information on how to apply is available on page 48951 of the August 15, 2012 Federal Registerand the List of 2011 Grant Recipients is also available.