2024 Value-Added Producer Grant Applications Now Being Accepted
Applications are now being accepted for the FY 2024 USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) with applications due April 16, 2024. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $250,000 in grant funding through the program, as detailed below. USDA is anticipating $30 million will be available to fund projects.
The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Independent producers (individual or family farms)
- Agricultural producer groups (non-profit associations representing farmers/producers)
- Farmer or rancher cooperatives
- Majority-controlled producer-based business ventures
What projects are eligible for this program?
Projects that either help agricultural producers launch a new product (product must be in market less than two years at time of application) or launch an existing product in a new market are eligible projects for the VAPG program. Grant and matching funds can be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing the specific value-added agricultural product.
Examples of eligible planning activities include:
- Conducting feasibility studies,
- Developing business plans, and
- Conducting market research related to the processing and marketing of the proposed value-added product.
Examples of eligible working capital expenses include:
- Processing costs (packaging, labels, co-packing),
- Marketing and advertising expenses (display advertising, social media campaigns),
- Some inventory (ingredients), and
- Salary expenses (processing time, marketing time, etc.).
Are there any special funding considerations for this program?
Ten percent of available funds for applications will be reserved for applicants qualifying as Beginning, Veteran, and Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers. An additional 10 percent
of available funds will be reserved for applications from farmers or ranchers proposing development of Mid-Tier Value Chains. Beginning, Veteran, and Socially- Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers and applicants proposing Mid-Tier Value Chains not awarded for reserved funds will compete with other eligible VAPG applications. In addition, any funds that
become available for persistent poverty counties through enactment of FY 2024 appropriations will be allocated for assistance in persistent poverty counties. Funds not obligated from these reserves by September 30, 2024, will be used for the VAPG general competition and made available in a subsequent application cycle.
What are the funding levels?
Applicants applying for planning grant funds can request up to $75,000 in grant funds. Applicants applying for working capital grant funds can request up to $250,000 in grant funds.
Is there a cost-sharing/match requirement?
A $1 for $1 match is required. Matching funds may be in the form of cash or eligible in-kind contributions, which include the raw commodity used to make the value-added product, and time contributed to the project, among others.
What is the grant duration?
Planning grants are typically completed within 12 months; Working Capital grants within 36 months.
What is the anticipated award timeline?
Applications are due on April 16, 2024. Projects are expected to begin September 30, 2024.
The full Value Added Producer Grant Notice can be found here.
For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.