News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017973
ContactJamie Welch Jaro801-524-4324
(AUGUST 16, 2012) USDA SEEKS APPLICATIONS FOR GRANTS TO HELP AGRICULTURE PRODUCERS BRING INCREASED VALUE TO PRODUCTS
Washington, D.C., Aug 16, 2012 --

              @@ Jamie Welch Jaro, Public Information Coordinator

(801) 524-4324

jamie.welchjaro@ut.usda.gov

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants To Help Agricultural Producers Bring Increased the Value to Their Products

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today invited agricultural producers to apply for grants to increase the value of their products.

“Producers can greatly enhance the bottom line of their businesses and improve their economic prospects when they improve the value of their products, thus expanding their markets and customer base,” Vilsack said. “The Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG) has a proven track record of doing just that and I am pleased to announce that we are inviting producers to apply for these grants by the deadline. The funds in this program enable America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners to find ways to expand their product offerings, revenue streams and create more economic opportunity by bringing additional value to what they already produce.”

Applicants have until October 15, 2012 to apply. USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million in grants available for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce bio-based products from agricultural commodities. The grants, which are competitively awarded, are available for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income are the goals of the VAPG program.

Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to operators of small and medium-sized farms or ranches that are structured as family farms, beginning farmers or ranchers, or those owned by socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Grants are available for projects up to 36 months in duration.

For information on how to apply, see page 48951 of the August 15, 2012 Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-15/pdf/2012-20082.pdf

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.