Value-Added Producer Grants Webinar on May 6

CCOF partner organization National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is teaming up with USDA’s Rural Development to present a free webinar on Friday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT that explains Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) in depth and presents tips on how to successfully apply.

VAPG provide funds to individual agricultural producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and other producer groups to develop marketing plans or acquire working capital for a value-added enterprise.

“Value-added” refers to an agricultural commodity that has increased in value due to processing, special characteristics (including being organically certified), being aggregated and marketed as locally-produced, or by other means.

Since VAPG was authorized in 2000, many organic farmers and processors have received VAPG funding to expand their business. Some examples from grants made in 2015 include:

  • Alabama’s Organic Dairy Products received $240,000 in working capital to help advertise and market organic fluid dairy products.
  • Living Water Farms in Illinois received a $53,256 planning grant to develop a feasibility study on converting a hydroponic facility to organic production.
  • Freedom Run Farm in Kentucky received $59,279 in working capital to process, package, market, and distribute certified organic lamb.

The webinar will be broadcast online only on May 6. To participate, go to www.ReadyTalk.com and enter the following ID/Passcode: 926 8341.

Participants will need to use their computer's audio and the "Chat" feature instead of phone lines.

For more information on VAPG, visit Rural Development’s webpage. NSAC offers a farmer’s guide to applying to VAPG. Look at the projects that were funded last year.

Electronic applications to VAPG will be due June 24, 2016, and paper applications are due July 1, 2016.

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