June 18, 2010
Family farm advocates have an important opportunity to help shape the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). USDA has requested comments on the administrative rules that will govern the implementation of this important program. VAPG offers competitive grants to farmers and ranchers developing new farm and food-related business enterprises that boost farm income, create jobs, and increase rural economic opportunity. VAPG offers both working capital and planning grants that strengthen the profitability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized farmers and ranchers.
The 2008 Farm Bill established ranking priorities for VAPG projects that benefit beginning, socially disadvantaged and small and moderate-sized family farmers and ranchers. Special reserve funds have been established for beginning farmers and projects involving mid-tier value chains.
While the rules are positive overall, NSAC has identified three areas in particular that require your input to ensure that VAPG fulfills its promise. Go to our action alert for talking points and instructions on how to submit a comment.