Recently USDA Rural Development announced approximately $18 million in grant funds is available to help farmers, ranchers and majority owned producer based businesses develop new product lines and expand new markets. The funds are provided through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program.
VAPG funds can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or additional uses for already developed product lines. Military veteran, socially-disadvantaged, and beginning farmers and ranchers; operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches; farmer and rancher cooperatives; and for applicants that propose mid-tier value chain projects are given special priority in applying for the program. Additional priority is given to group applicants who seek funding for projects that “best contribute” to creating or increasing marketing opportunities for these type of operators.
Paper application must be postmarked by January 31, 2018, and electronic application must be submitted via Grants.gov by January 24, 2018. Complete details on how to apply can be found on page 40987 of the August 29, 2017 Federal Register.
Interested applicants should contact one of the following USDA Rural Development staff member: