March 4, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Release: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Publishes Newly Revised “Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Program”
Washington, DC, March 4, 2022 – This week the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its 2022 Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). VAPG is a subprogram of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) that provides competitive grants to individual independent agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, producer-controlled entities, organizations representing agricultural producers, and farmer or rancher cooperatives, to create or expand value-added producer-owned businesses.
For the last several years, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has provided annual “farmers’ guides” to help producers navigate this program. The guide: Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program is now updated and includes all of the information that farmers and ranchers need to know about VAPG to determine if the program is a fit for their operation, including changes made to the program this year.
“For more than twenty years, NSAC has been a leading advocate for VAPG and other programs that support local food systems and rural development. VAPG is a critical program for farmers and producers nationwide because it transforms raw product into value-added goods that can bring in significantly more revenue,” said Wes King, NSAC Policy Specialist.
“An important change in the 2022 NOSA cycle is that applicants are required to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number and maintain registration in the federal System for Awards Management (SAM) before applying. The matching fund requirement for this year’s cycle is another noteworthy change this year,” King added.
Thanks in part to recent NSAC advocacy, the coronavirus aid package that Congress enacted in December of 2020 included a one-time infusion of $35 million in additional funding for the program to support recovery efforts. That legislation directed USDA to reduce the matching funds requirement from 100% to 10% for any grants funded through that $35 million. While most of the pandemic response funding was obligated during the FY 2021 cycle, $2.75 million is available as carryover for this cycle. All applications that are submitted to USDA will initially compete for the $2.75 million with the reduced matching funds requirement.
The application window to apply is now open. Online applications will be accepted until April 25, 2022 through grants.gov. Paper applications must be postmarked by May 2, 2022. Details on the program, including the changes made in this year’s NOSA, are included in the online guide, and are detailed in a recent NSAC blog post.
USDA Rural Development and NSAC are hosting a webinar for prospective applicants to learn more about the program on March 18th, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET. To join the webinar, find details here.
To ensure a strong and diverse applicant pool, NSAC encourages all interested farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food entrepreneurs to apply – particularly those from historically underserved communities.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: https://sustainableagriculture.net/