ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug 16, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development is inviting agricultural producers to apply for grants to increase the value of their products through the Value-Added Producer program (VAPG).
Applications are due by Oct. 15, 2012, and should be submitted to the Rural Development specialist serving your region, or sent electronically through www.grants.gov.
Grants may be made for economic planning or working capital activities related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added agricultural products. The maximum planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum working capital grant is $300,000. Matching funds are required.
Additional program details can be found on page 48951 of the Aug. 15, 2012, edition of the Federal Register.
Minnesota farmers and ag-based businesses have received over $1 million in VAPGs over the last two years. Examples of projects include marketing and product expansions for beef, poultry, turkey, eggs and milk operations, sunflower oil production, specialty cheeses, wineries, fruit and vegetable producers and renewable energy ventures.
Businesses and producers of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to operators of small and medium-sized operations that are structured as family farms, beginning farmers or ranchers, or owned by socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.
USDA Rural Development has invested over $3 billion since 2009 to improve housing, infrastructure, community facilities, renewable energy use and broadband in rural Minnesota. To learn more about Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn.