Grant Opportunities and Information

Grants have become an important part of value-added agriculture. Grants are often used to fund feasibility studies and business plans. They are also used to provide “start-up” funds to cover expenses such as legal fees. Grants may also focus on providing “working capital” to get a business started. Finally, some grants may be used to build the “bricks and mortar” associated with a processing business.

Before you start applying for a grant, you need to determine if you are ready for a grant. How to Use Grants provides you with an outline of points you need to consider as you go down the road of grant usage.

Value-added groups may have little experience writing grant applications. For help getting started, read Introduction to Grant Writing. Groups often hire a professional grant writer to help them write the grant application. To help find a grant writer, visit AgMRC’s directory of Value-added Agricultural Consultants and Service Providers.

Grants are available from a variety of public and private sources. For example, USDA Rural Development provides grants specifically designed for value-added agricultural businesses. For more information on these grants, visit USDA Value-Added Producer Grants. A list of Previous Value-Added Grant Recipients is also available. To help you when applying for one of these grants, read Value-Added Development Grants: A Reviewer’s Perspective. How Successful was the 2002 Farm Bill's Value-Added Producer Grant Program? provides an assessment of the impact of this program on value-added agriculture.

Another source of USDA grants is the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program. State agencies also provide grants for start-up and expanding businesses. For a more thorough description of granting agencies, read Funding Sources.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Understanding Grants

Revised May, 2019.