U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Lynne Hinrichsen announced that agency is accepting applications for grants to help farmers, ranchers and producer-based businesses develop new products and expand marketing opportunities.
USDA is making $37 million in grants available under the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program to develop new products from raw agricultural products or promote new markets for established products. Veterans, socially-disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, farmer and rancher cooperatives, or projects that propose a mid-tier value chain are given special priority.
Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by March 5, 2020, at midnight eastern time. Paper applications from Kansas applicants must be submitted by March 10, 2020 to:
USDA Rural Development
Attn: Nancy Pletcher
1303 SW First American Place, Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66604
Additional information is available on page 67703 of the Dec. 11, 2019, Federal Register. VAPG program information and application forms can be obtained at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants/ks. Questions about the VAPG program can be emailed to email@example.com or by phone at (785) 271-2733.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) to help improve the quality of life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technological Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life