June 13, 2016
Whether helping farmers turn organic grains into shelf-ready items or providing capital for the creation of farm-identity preserved regional supply chains, the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program has served as a valuable resource for farmers looking to grow their businesses through value-added products.
Back in April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $44 million in funding through the competitive VAPG Program. Administered by USDA Rural Development, the VAPG program provides competitive grants to producers for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts to establish viable value-added businesses. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants.
The deadline for proposals is now right around the corner! Paper applications are due July 1, while electronic applications are due June 24 through grants.gov.
Individual and groups of producers, as well as farmer coops and producer-controlled businesses, are eligible to apply for these grants, which help to increase income and marketing opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers, along with fishermen, loggers, and other harvesters of agricultural commodities.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s annual Farmers Guide to the VAPG Program walks farmers through the program’s application requirements, including a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes.
In addition, USDA has created a “toolkit” for applicants, that includes an application checklist, templates, required grant forms, and instructions (found under the “Forms & Resources” tab).
Finally, please note that NSAC and the USDA partnered on a webinar for prospective applicants on May 8, a recording of that webinar can be found here.
We encourage farmers and their organizations, coops, and businesses to consider the program and get great proposals in by the deadline!