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USDA makes $30 million available for agricultural producers

Funds will assist various farmers with their operations

By Diego Flammini,

Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack and the United States Department of Agriculture are setting aside $30 million for farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs to use in developing new product lines.

The funds are being made available through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

"Farmers and ranchers are creative people who, with a little help, can put that creativity to work and improve the bottom line for their operations," Vilsack said. "Value-Added Producer Grants enable them to develop new product lines to grow their businesses and expand their contributions to our nation's economy. This support is especially important for beginning farmers, military veterans engaging in farming and smaller farm operations participating in the local and regional food system."

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

VAPG grants can be put towards developing new products made raw agricultural products or creating additional uses for already established product lines.

There will be special priority given to those who fall into some of the following categories:

  • Military veterans
  • Beginning farmers or ranchers
  • Operators of small and medium-sized family farms
  • Applicants that propose mid-tier value chain projects

More information about the grants and application process can be found on the May 8th Federal Register – page 26528.

Electronic applications must be submitted by July 2nd and paper applications by July 7th.

Since 2009, the USDA’s VAPG grants have totaled about $104.5 million – approximately 19% of that funding has been given to beginning farmers trying to do their part to help feed the country and the world.

Joint the conversation and tell us if you’d apply for any of the VAPG grants. How would you use it? What products would you develop or try to improve?

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