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USDA Seeks Applications for Value-Added Grant Program To Help Farmers and Ranchers Seek New Markets

by Guest Blogger |

Charolette Epps, CCOF Foundation grantee, in the greenhouse with her variety of sweet potato plants

The USDA is now accepting applications for grants to help agricultural producers maximize the value of their products and venture into new and better markets. 

Electronic applications are due April 11, 2024, and paper applications must be postmarked by April 16, 2024. More information on submission dates below.

The USDA is making the grants available under the Value-Added Producer Grants program. The grants help farmers and ranchers generate new products, create marketing opportunities, and increase their incomes through value-added activities.

Eligible applicants include independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

The USDA may award up to $75,000 for planning activities or up to $250,000 for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product.

Planning activities may include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans. Working capital expenses may include costs associated with processing, marketing, advertising, inventory, and salaries.

The USDA is particularly interested in applications that will advance Biden-Harris Administration priorities to

  • reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities;
  • ensure all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD-funded projects; and
  • help rural communities recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure.

Paper applications must be postmarked and delivered by mail, email, or in person to the USDA Rural Development state office in the state where the project is proposed by close of business on April 16, 2024. Electronic applications will be accepted via until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2024. 

Additional information is available on page 2,919 of the January 17, 2024 Federal Register or by contacting your local USDA Rural Development office. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.


Adapted from a Planting Seeds blog post by CDFA’s Office of Public Affairs published on January 18, 2024.