The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $44 million in funding through the competitive VAPG Program. Administered by USDA Rural Development, the VAPG program provides competitive grants to producers for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts to establish viable value-added businesses. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants.
The deadline for paper applications is July 1, while electronic applications are due June 24 on the website grants.gov.
Individual and groups of producers, as well as farmer coops and producer-controlled businesses, are eligible to apply for these grants, which help to increase income and marketing opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers, along with fishermen, loggers, and other harvesters of agricultural commodities.
USDA has created a “toolkit” for applicants, that includes an application checklist, templates, required grant forms, and instructions (found under the “Forms & Resources” tab).
If you need assistance, check out the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Farmers Guide to the VAPG Program as it walks farmers through the program’s application requirements with a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes.