STATEWIDE – The US Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications, due May 11, for the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program with priority given to beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers. The program awards up to $250,000 to help farmers develop new products, expand their businesses, and access new markets.
Value Added Producer Grant
Adding value to agricultural products can take many forms. For example, a farmer who grows strawberries may decide to add value to their product by processing them into jelly. This creates a new product that can be sold at a higher price point than raw strawberries.
By adding value to their products, these farmers can increase their revenue and profitability. They also meet the growing demand for locally produced, high-quality agricultural products.
The program offers up to $75,000 in grant funding for planning activities and up to $250,000 in grant funding for working capital expenses.
Planning activities refer to the costs associated with developing and implementing a business plan for the proposed value-added project. These costs may include expenses such as feasibility studies, market research, and professional consulting fees.
Working capital expenses, on the other hand, refer to the costs associated with operating the proposed value-added project once it is up and running. These costs may include expenses such as payroll, inventory, marketing, and other day-to-day expenses.
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. In addition, farmers may receive priority if they are a:
- Beginning farmer or rancher;
- Socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher;
- Small or medium-sized farm;
- Ranch structured as a family farm;
- Farmer or rancher cooperative;
- Proposing a mid-tier value chain.
Matching Funds Requirement
There is a matching fund (cost-sharing) requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds. Matching funds may be in the form of cash or eligible in-kind contributions. This includes raw commodity, time contributed to the project, or goods or services for which no out-of-pocket expenditure is made during the grant period.
To apply for the VAPG program, applicants must submit a grant application to the USDA by the May 11, 2023 deadline. Applicants must provide detailed information about their proposed project, including how the grant funding will be used, how the project will add value to an agricultural product, and how it will benefit the local community.
For more information about the VAPG program visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-programs/value-added-producer-grants/ca#overview