2013 Value Added Producer Grant Program Open

The USDA officially announced the 2013 Value Added Producer Grant Program today, with applicants able to apply for up to $75,000 in grant funding for planning projects and $200,000 for working capital projects related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added agricultural products. Applications are due February 24.

While we are fully booked and have no capacity to accept additional clients for this funding round, we are posting this announcement for the many who have come to depend on us for grant information. If you intend to apply for a planning grant, we can conduct most kinds of marketing, feasibility, and planning projects and would be happy to provide an estimate you will need to support your grant request. Regardless of our capacity to accept more grant proposal projects, we are always happy to discuss the programs we work with and answer any preliminary questions. Feel free to contact any member of our team or call us at 530-893-4764.

The VAPG program is open to independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

Grant funds can be used for eligible economic planning activities or for eligible working capital expenses. Economic planning activities include market research, conducting feasibility studies, and developing business plans for the processing and marketing of a value-added product. Eligible working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses. Working capital grant applications of $50,000 or more generally require submission of an independent, third party feasibility study and a business plan.

Approximately $10.5 million in carry over funding from fiscal year (FY) 2013 is available through this program; should additional funding be made available during FY 2014, USDA may continue to fund additional applications, though the individual funding limits apparently will not be adjusted. By comparison approximately $14 million was appropriated for the program in 2012, though $16.8 million was awarded after additional funding became available. Grant funding limits were $300,000 for working capital grants and $100,000 for planning grants.

Morrison has a longstanding history writing VAPG proposals on behalf of our agriculture and agribusiness clients. Since 2002, Morrison has helped food and agriculture clients earn a combined $10.8 million in grant funding through the Value Added Producer Grant, with a 93% success rate overall through this program.

About the Author

+Toni Scott is a consultant with Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Toni directly at tscott@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 205.

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