Program 101

Are Applications Currently Being Accepted: NO

What does this program do?

The Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. Applicants may receive priority if they are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on Grants.gov.

Program Funding: TBD
Maximum Grant Amount: TBD
Matching Funds Requirements: TBD

Who may apply for this program?

Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer- or rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures, as defined in the program regulation are eligible to apply for this program.

How may funds be used?

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. Examples of planning activities include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans for processing and marketing the proposed value-added product. Examples of working capital expenses include:

  • Processing costs
  • Marketing and advertising expenses
  • Some inventory and salary expenses

How do I get started?

Before you apply:

  • Request a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number if your organization doesn’t already have one. It should not take more than a few business days to get your number. However, you should plan on requesting it at least a month before the application deadline because you’ll need that number for the next pre-application step (see below).
  • Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) if you aren’t already registered. The registration is free, but you need to complete several steps. It’s a good idea to start the registration process at least a month before any application deadline. Before you start the registration process, we suggest reading through the HELP materials available on the SAM website. Then, you’ll need to create an account. After you create your account by setting up a user ID and password, you can register your organization. Remember, you’ll need your DUNS number to complete your registration. Also, make a note of your CAGE (Commercial And Government Entity) code and expiration date because you’ll need those for your application.

Additional requirements:

Please read the Federal Register notice for the details on how to apply. Applicants should put together the required information at least a month before the application deadline. The extra time allows collection of other required materials such letters of commitment or support from other organizations, a work plan and budget, and other information. Copies of required forms are available from your nearest Rural Development Office. Below are links to optional forms that may assist you in developing your application.

Who can answer questions?

If you have questions, you can contact your nearest Rural Development Office.

Will I need to send any reports if I receive a grant?

If you receive a grant, you will need to send regular financial and performance reports.  Your grant agreement will tell you how often you need to send the reports, what forms you need to use, and what information you need to put in the reports.

Where can I get more information? 

The VAPG program regulation contains details about the program’s purpose, what you can and can’t do with grant money, application requirements, and information about how applications will be selected for funding. Remember that you need to read the Federal Register notice to get all the details about how to apply, but the program regulation also has useful information that you will need before applying for a grant.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Business Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process.

Preliminary Actions Required

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.

Application Tookits

Application Toolkit for Planning Grants

Application Toolkit for Working Capital Grants

VAPG Information

  • Harvester Applicants [PDF]
  • Locally Produced Food [PDF]
  • Mid-Tier Value Chains [PDF]
  • Anaerobic Digesters [PDF]