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Deadline: February 24, 2014

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Value-Added Producer Grants

The Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG) exists to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products, and to expand markets and increase financial returns to agricultural producers. The end goals of the program are generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income.

Two types of grants are available: (1) Planning Grant: To facilitate economic planning activities to determine the viability of a value-added venture, and may include costs for an independent feasibility study and development of a marketing and business plan. (2) Working Capital Grant: For operational costs directly related to the processing and/or marketing of the value-added product. Eligible working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses directly related to a value-added project. Grant funds cannot be used to purchase property or construct facilities, or to purchase equipment.

Eligibility: Independent Producers; Agricultural Producer Groups; Farmer or Rancher Cooperative (COOP); and Majority-Controlled Producer Businesses. Priority is given to Beginning Farmers or Ranchers; Mid-Tier Value Chain Proposals; Small or Medium Family Farms; Farmer or Rancher Cooperatives; and Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers.

Amount: Approximately $10.5 million in carry over funding from fiscal year (FY) 2013 is available to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Maximum grant amount: $75,000 for planning grants; $200,000 for working capital grants. Cost sharing requirement: Cash or eligible in-kind matching funds equal to at least the amount of grant funds requested.

Link: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html

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