Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making up to $44 million available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.
“America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners are innovative entrepreneurs and this program helps them grow economic opportunities for their families and communities by increasing the value of the items they produce,” Vilsack said. “The Value-Added Producer Grant program has a great track record of helping producers increase the value of products, expand their markets and customer base, strengthening rural America in the process.”
Value-Added Producer Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones. Grant and matching funds can be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value added agricultural product. For more information see the Vermont and New Hampshire Value Added Producer Grant Video on the Vermont and New Hampshire Rural Development websites.
In 2015, Slopeside Syrup received a $49,999 USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant to manufacture a new gummy energy snack using all natural maple syrup as the sweetener. Last year, nine Vermont and New Hampshire businesses received over $1 million in Value Added Producer Grants.
More information on how to apply is on page 20607 of the April 8 Federal Register. The deadline to submit applications is July 1. For additional program information or application assistance, contact Susan Poland, Business Program Specialist for Vermont and New Hampshire, at (802) 828-6002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $212.8 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website (www.rd.usda.gov/nh or www.rd.usda.gov/vt ) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.