Oct 12, 2017
USDA fund availability for growers topic of webinar

On Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and USDA Rural Development team will present a webinar introducing producers to the Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). The webinar will help family farmers and ranchers to determine if applying for the competitive grant program is the right fit for their operation.

Login details for the webinar can be found here.

Interested attendees will not be able to register for the webinar in advance, at the time of the webinar participants can use the included link to join. Also, there will be no call-in function, all participants will have to use their computer speakers.

VAPG helps farmers and ranchers turn their raw product into minimally processed goods (e.g., milk into cheese or apples into apple-cider) that can bring in significantly more revenue and attract new customer bases. Producers can also use the program for a number of other uses, including: working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts.

USDA Rural Development, which administers the program, has recently issued at least $18 million in competitive grant funds for this fiscal year. Interested producers may be eligible for up to $75,000 for planning grants and up to $250,000 is for implementation grants. Individuals and groups of producers, as well as farmer coops and producer-controlled businesses, are eligible to apply for these grants. VAPG is a popular program amongst producers because it helps them to diversify and increase their revenue streams – particularly important during extended periods of low commodity prices and a sluggish farm economy.

The deadline to submit paper applications to your State Rural Development Office (by mail or in person) is January 31, 2018.. For electronic applications, the deadline is January 24, 2018; electronic applications must be submitted through grants.gov.

To learn more about VAPG, check out NSAC’s free, online guide: Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.





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