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USDA is Seeking Applications for Grants to Help Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses Develop and Market 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 rural small businesses develop new products and expand marketing opportunities.

Approximately $33 million in grants is available nationwide through the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program.

The grants may be used to develop new products from raw agricultural products or to expand marketing opportunities for value-added products. Applicants proposing projects related to the production, procurement, or marketing of hemp must have a valid license from an approved state, tribal, or federal plan pursuant to Section 10113 of the 2018 Farm Bill, be in compliance with regulations published by the Agricultural Marketing Service in 7 CFR Part 990, and meet any applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulatory requirements.

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. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis. 

Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by 9:00 pm PST on March 16, 2021. Applications may also be submitted by email or sent to the state office where the project is located. The applications must be submitted by 4:30 pm PST on March 22, 2021. In Oregon, the applications should be delivered to:

          USDA Rural Development
          ATTN: Erika Moellmer
          1220 SW 3rd Avenue
          Suite 1801
          Portland, OR 97204
          Email: erika.moellmer@usda.gov

We encourage you to contact Oregon's VAPG Coordinator, Erika Moellmer, (503) 414-3333, prior to beginning work on your application for more details about the program requirements and process.

For additional information, see page 83038 of the December 21, 2020, Federal Register, and the corrections included on page 55 of the January 4, 2021, Federal Register.