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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Apply Now to the Value-Added Producer Grant Program!

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is available to help Wisconsin producers, as well as minority farmers and women farmers across the Midwest apply to diverse federal and state programs.  One program of interest to many producers is the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. 

This program is taking applications until October 15th, 2012, from producers who want to add value to their raw products.  Agricultural producers or producer groups may apply for either business planning support (up to $100,000) or a working capital grant (up to $300,000).  Eligible activities must relate to the processing and/or marketing of valued-added agricultural products.  Producers are farmers, ranchers, loggers, and fishermen that engage in the production or harvesting of an agricultural commodity.

There is a matching funds requirement of dollar for dollar that you request from the USDA.

Generating new products, entering emerging markets, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals.  Applications that support aspects of regional strategic planning, cooperative development, sustainable farming, and local and regional food systems are encouraged.  Proposals must demonstrate economic viability and sustainability in order to compete for funding.

For information and application procedures visit the USDA website and contact your USDA Rural Development State Office. 

You are also encouraged to contact the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Grants Adviser, Deirdre Birmingham, for assistance to submit a high-quality competitive application.  The funding pool is smaller this year and thus competition will be significant.  Contact Deirdre at deirdreb@mindspring.com or 608-219-4279.

The Farmers’ Guide to Applying for Value-Added Producer Grant Funding is an excellent resource available from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.