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 marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.
You may receive priority if you 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.
Program Funding: $37 million and any additional FY 2020 funding that becomes available.
Maximum Grant Amount: Planning Grants $75,000; Working Capital Grants: $250,000.
Matching Funds Requirements: 50 percent of total project costs.
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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will need those for your application.
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. See the Forms & Resources tab for 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?
Yes, 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 Value-Added Producer Grants 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.
What law governs this program?
The VAPG program is authorized under section 231 of the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-224), as amended by section 6203 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) (see 7 U.S.C. 1632a).
NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled “What law governs this program?” You may also contact your local office for assistance.
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 toolkits can be accessed through Grants.gov. To access through Grants.gov, enter Opportunity Number: RDBCP-VAPG-2020, and select related documents.
- SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
- SF-424 Instructions
- SF-424A Budget Information
- SF-424A Instructions
- SF-424B Assurances
- AD-3030 Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquency Status for Corporate Applicants
- Harvester Applicants [PDF]
- Locally Produced Food [PDF]
- Mid-Tier Value Chains [PDF]
- Anaerobic Digesters [PDF]
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
Upcoming IAC/USDA Value Added Webinar
Among other topics, the webinar will address eligibility issues relating to Tribes and Native producers. This webinar is intended for both applicants currently working on a proposal and prospective applicants interested in learning more.
Click the tab below to join the call on Thursday, February 6th at 2pm EST
For more information contact:
Technical Assistance Specialist