VAPG Program Webinar Will Help Producers Apply for USDA Funds

Posted on 10/11/2017 at 12:44 PM by Shannon Hoyle

On Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development team will present a webinar introducing producers to the Value Added Producer Grant Program. The webinar will help family farmers and ranchers to determine if applying for the competitive grant program is the right fit for their operation.

Login details for the webinar can be found at

Note that interested attendees will not be able to register for the webinar in advance; at the time of the webinar participants can use the link to join. Also, there will be no call-in function, and all participants will have to use their computer speakers.

VAPG helps farmers and ranchers turn their raw product into minimally processed goods (e.g., milk into cheese, apples into apple-cider) that can bring in significantly more revenue and attract new customer bases. Producers can also use the program for a number of other uses, including: working capital, feasibility studies, business plans and marketing efforts.

USDA Rural Development, which administers the program, has recently issued at least $18 million in competitive grant funds for this fiscal year. Interested producers may be eligible for up to $75,000 for planning grants and up to $250,000 is for implementation grants. Individual and groups of producers, as well as farmer coops and producer-controlled businesses, are eligible to apply for these grants. VAPG is a popular program amongst producers because it helps them to diversify and increase their revenue streams—particularly important during extended periods of low commodity prices and a sluggish farm economy.

The deadline to submit paper applications to your State Rural Development Office (by mail or in person) is Jan. 31, 2018.. For electronic applications, the deadline is Jan. 24, 2018; electronic applications must be submitted through

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