Growing Value Added Economies Act

Local produce at Denver, CO farmers' market. Photo credit: Reana Kovalcik.

Local produce at Denver, CO farmers’ market. Marketing and labelling campaigns are one of many activities supported by VAPG. Photo credit: Reana Kovalcik.

Growing Value Added Economies Act

H.R. 5764

The Growing Value Added Economies Act, introduced on May 10, 2018 by Representatives Ben Lujan (D-NM), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), will advance growth and entrepreneurship in rural and food producing communities by increasing funding for and improving access to the Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program.

The promotion of small-scale entrepreneurship is one economic development strategy that consistently works in rural communities. In fact, in most rural areas across the United States, over half of all new jobs come from small business ventures. The VAPG program helps family farmers and ranchers to develop and expand small businesses, which in turn boost farm income, create jobs that can’t be outsourced, and increase community empowerment and economic opportunity.

The Growing Value Added Economies Act will ensure that VAPG is able to continue supporting and empowering food and farm entrepreneurs and businesses by:

  • Providing $20 million per year in mandatory funding.
  • Improving customer service and addressing program access barriers through the creation of a new outreach and technical assistance component.
  • Increasing program transparency through the creation of independent peer review panels, which make decisions on awarding project funding.

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