The USDA Rural Development National Office will host a training webinar on “VAPG and Food Hubs,” on Monday, December 16th at 1:00 pm EST. This informational webinar will present an overview of the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, focusing on key eligibility and program requirements for food hubs.
VAPG is a competitive federal grants program that enables farmers to expand into value-added enterprises that change the physical state of an agricultural commodity or product, like converting cucumbers into pickles, or that produce, market, or segregate the product or commodity in a way that enhances its value, such as organically grown vegetables or grass-fed meat. Such business enterprises increase farmer income, create jobs, and increase consumer access to a diverse range of local products, spurring economic development.
VAPG also funds regional food supply networks that benefit small and mid-sized farms by incorporating producers into larger farm-to-fork, or “mid-tier,” value chains. Learn more about VAPG and its role in strengthening local food systems and stimulating rural development.
Food hubs, which work to aggregate, store, process, distribute, and/or market locally- and regionally-produced foods, can qualify for VAPG grants if they are farmer cooperatives, majority farmer-owned businesses, an independent producer steering committee, or part of a mid-tier value chain. Monday’s webinar will introduce food hub applicants to the VAPG requirements specific to their operations, and explain how the Mid-Tier Value Chain requirement might serve as a vehicle for food hub participation in VAPG.
The presentation will last from 1-2:30 pm EST with time for questions from participants. The session will be recorded and slides will be shared prior to the webinar.
To call into the webinar, click here.