May 2, 2016
Editor’s Note: The Value-Added Producer Grant webinar was held on May 6, 2016. A recording of the webinar is available here: VAPG Webinar Recording.
In early April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $44 million in funding through the competitive Value-added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). Recognizing that applying for federal grants can be challenging, even for professional grant-writers, USDA and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) are partnering on a webinar for prospective applicants and groups that work with farmers and ranchers. The webinar will be held on May 6 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. eastern time.
The webinar will include program and funding history, an overview of the program, information about eligibility, application requirements, application evaluation and scoring criteria, examples of funded projects, supporting resources, and plenty of time for detailed questions and answers.
Pre-registration is not required and not available for this webinar. Participants will need to use their computer’s audio and the “chat” feature instead of phone lines. There will not be a phone dial-in option. To participate on May 6 at 2:00 p.m. follow the directions below:
In addition to partnering with USDA for this webinar, NSAC has released an updated version of its annual Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, a unique resource that walks farmers through the program’s application requirements, including a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes.
Administered by USDA Rural Development, VAPG provides competitive grants to help farmers and ranchers take their businesses to the next level by transforming raw goods into higher-value processed products like flour, cheese, or sauces/spreads, by innovative marketing of inherently higher value products like organic or grass-fed, or by linking through food hubs or other supply chain networks to local and regional food markets.
The grants can be used for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants.
The deadline to submit paper applications for VAPG is July 1, while electronic applications are due June 24 through grants.gov.
Potential applicants can learn more about the program by visiting NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs page on the VAPG program. In addition to NSAC’s resources, more information, including application details, is available on the USDA VAPG webpage.