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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses Develop New Products

Erin McDuff
Release Date

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for grants to help farmers, ranchers, and producer-based businesses develop new products and expand marketing opportunities.

Rural Development is making approximately $37 million in grants available nationwide under the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program. The grants can be used to develop new products from raw agricultural products, to develop additional uses for existing product lines, or to market value-added agricultural products.

Applications proposing projects related to hemp will be considered for funding if the project meets all program eligibility requirements, including currently producing hemp with a valid producer license and verifiable compliance with regulations published by the Agricultural Marketing Service in 7 CFR
Part 990 and by Rural Development in 7 CFR 4284, Subpart J.

Independent producers, agricultural operators, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to veterans, socially-disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, and farmer and rancher cooperatives.

Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by 9:00 pm Pacific Time on March 5, 2020. Paper applications must be submitted by March 10, 2020. In Oregon, applications should be submitted to the Rural Development state office:

          USDA Rural Development
          ATTN: VAPG Coordinator
          1220 SW 3rd Avenue
          Suite 1801
          Portland, OR 97204

We encourage you to contact Oregon's VAPG Coordinator, Mandie Cole, (541) 378-3538, prior to beginning work on your application for more details about the requirements and process.

For additional information, see page 67703 of the December 11, 2019, Federal Register.