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Seeking Applicants: The Value Added Producer Grant program

August 16, 2012

Good News!  The USDA is seeking applications for grants to help agricultural producers bring increased value to their products.  On August 16, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack invited agricultural producers to apply for The Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG).  Agriculture Secretary Vilsack wants you to know that the funds in this program enable America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners to find ways to expand their product offerings and revenue streams, and to create more economic opportunity by bringing additional value to what you already produce.

Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to operators of small and medium-sized farms or ranches that are structured as family farms, beginning farmers or ranchers, or those owned by socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Grants are available for projects up to 36 months in duration.

Through these competitively awarded grants, USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million available for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce bio-based products from agricultural commodities.  The grants are available for either planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants.

There is no time to waste.  The application deadline is October 15, 2012.  Agriculture Secretary Vilsack emphasized that far too many producers are missing out on significant economic opportunities when their products are enhanced further away from the farm.  “When our producers keep their value-added activities closer to the farm, it not only improves their bottom line; it strengthens our rural economy and strengthens our rural communities.”

For information on how to apply go to this link

Don’t delay!

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