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USDA VAPG announced! -Due July 7 for hard copy applications

The long awaited 2015 USDA Value-Added Producer Grant program was announced Friday, May 8th.

Please view: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants

Please note that approximately $30M is available nation-wide, which is more than in most years. That makes this a better year to apply, although the timing is quite inconvenient for most producers.

Please use the link above for the updated application “Toolkit” materials and a summary of any changes to the VAPG program from last year.

Also the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is revising their Farmers’ Guide to the VAPG program to incorporate program changes. Farmer friendly information is available at:

If you are considering applying or decided that you will apply, please do not hesitate to contact your state’s USDA Rural Development office to discuss your project and any questions you have, particularly on eligibility requirements.

Most important are the due dates: If you apply via grants.gov: 7/2/15.
If you apply by sending a hard copy to your state’s USDA RD office: 7/7/15.

There will also be a comment period on the revised regulations guiding the program on which you are welcome to comment. In the future, the program will announce its notices of funding available in the fall with a winter deadline.

Please let me know if you would like Grants Advising assistance. The sooner you contact me the more helpful I can be.

– Deirdre
Deirdre Birmingham
Grants Advisor, Grant Writer
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Wisconsin Farmers Union