WASHINGTON, DC – August 21, 2012 – USDA Agriculture Secretary TomVilsack invites agricultural producers to apply for Value Added ProducerGrants (VAPG) by the October 15, 2012 deadline to increase the value oftheir products. The funds in this program enable farmers, ranchers andrural business owners to find ways to expand their product offerings,revenue streams and create more economic opportunity by bringingadditional value to what they already produce.
USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million in grantsavailable for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce bio‐basedproducts from agricultural commodities. The grants, which arecompetitively awarded, are available for planning activities or forworking 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 opportunitiesand increasing producer income are the goals of the VAPG program.
Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but priority will begiven to operators of small and medium‐sized farms or ranches that arestructured as family farms, beginning farmers or ranchers, or thoseowned by socially‐disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Grants areavailable for projects up to 36 months in duration.
For information on how to apply, see page 48951 of the August 15, 2012 Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR‐2012‐08‐15/pdf/2012‐20082.pdf
For more information, contact Debbie Turbeville, SC Office of USDA Rural Development, 843‐669‐9686, ext. 133.