Archive for July, 2011
USDA: Value Added Producer Grants for farmers
USDA announced that applications are being accepted until August 29, 2011 for Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) to independent ag producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups. Grant awards will be announced by the end of November 2011.
VAPG is a national program that awards grants to producers to help them add value to basic ag products through branding, processing, product differentiation, labeling and certification, and marketing,. USDA estimates that the average grant award will be $116,000 and that they will be able to award around 250 grants. In the last grant round, 41% of the awards were for less than $50,000 each.
Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage. To see a video featuring Deputy Secretary Merrigan discussing the VAPG program click here.
The complete application package is available from the USDA Rural Development site, and an application template is available. Then University of Wisconsin Ag Innovation Center offers additional tips to applicants.
Find more about eligibility and the application process guidelines by contacting your local USDA Rural Development Office, or contact the national program staff Lyn Millhiser at 202-720-1227 or Tracey Kennedy at 202-690-1428, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the June 28, 2011, Federal Register. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency’s programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.
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