USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack invites agricultural producers to apply for Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) by the October 15, 2012 deadline to increase the value of their products. The funds in this program enable farmers, ranchers and rural business owners to find ways to
expand their product offerings, revenue streams and create more economic opportunity by bringing additional value to what they already produce.
USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million in grants available for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce bio-based products from agricultural commodities. The grants, which are competitively awarded, are available for 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. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income are the goals of the VAPG program.
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.
For information on how to apply, see page 48951 of the August 15, 2012 Federal Register,