USDA Logo Rural Development Logo USDA Rural Development Main Masthead
SpacerHomeDividerAbout RDDividerNewsroomDividerAgencies & OfficesDividerPrograms & OpportunitiesDividerHelpDividerContact UsDividerEn Español
Search RD
Spacer
Go
Spacer
Browse by Audience
Spacer
Spacer
Browse by Subject
Spacer
Business
Community Development
Cooperatives
Energy
Housing
Utilities
Loans
Grants
Technical Assistance
Forms and Publications
Regulations and Guidance
Online Services
Left Navigation Menu Bottom
Newsroom
News Release
Release No. STELPRD4023312
ContactVicki Schurman(402) 437-5563
Printable Version  Printable Version
(MARCH 26, 2014) USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR VALUE-ADDED PRODUCER GRANTS TO APRIL 8, 2014

    Lincoln, Neb., Mar 26, 2014 -- USDA Rural Development is announcing that the deadline for the Value Added Producer Grant has been extended from February 24, 2014 to April 8, 2014. The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program.

    Priority points are awarded to beginning farmers or ranchers, veterans, socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, farmer or rancher cooperatives, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain, as defined in the Program Regulation. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

    The 2014 farm bill provides veterans with priority points for applications. The purpose of the extension was to provide for implementation of 2014 Farm Bill language which expands the priority designation when awarding grants to eligible independent producers to include Veteran Farmers or Ranchers. Note that this is simply the addition of a new priority category and applicants may qualify for points in only one category.  The term ‘Veteran Farmer or Rancher’ as defined at 7 U.S.C. 1632a(b)(6) means a farmer or rancher who has served in the Armed Forces (as defined in section  101(10) of title 38 United  States Code) and who (A) has not operated a farm or ranch; or (B) has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years.

    Please note that (A) does not apply to VAPG because the program requires that the applicant be ‘currently’ producing at time of application. (B) is the same as the current VAPG Beginning Farmer or Rancher requirement.  Since there are no additional points for qualifying as both a Beginning Farmer or Rancher AND a Veteran Farmer or Rancher, no additional documentation is required for applicants who have already applied as a Beginning Farmer or Rancher.

    Applicants who apply in response to the Notice of Extension and who wish to apply for points as a Veteran Farmer or Rancher must meet all of the requirements of a Beginning Farmer or Rancher, providing the information requested in Appendix E.1 of the Application Template AND at least one owner/member of the applicant entity must submit form DD-214, Report of Separation from the U.S. Military.

    The extended deadline is valid for all applicants, including new applicants (whether or not they apply as a veteran) and applicants who submitted under the old deadline and wish to revise their applications. Maximum grant amount is $75,000 for planning grants and $200,000 for working capital grants. There is a cost sharing requirement for cash or eligible in-kind matching funds equal to at least the amount of grant funds requested.

    Grant funds may be used for eligible economic planning activities, or for eligible working capital expenses.  Economic planning activities include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans for processing and marketing of the proposed value-added product. 

    Eligible working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses directly related to your value-added project, as detailed in the Program Regulation.  The grantee cannot use grant funds to purchase property or construct facilities, or to purchase equipment. The Program Regulation provides more information on eligible uses of the grant.

    For more information regarding the VAPG program visit:

    http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html

    To discuss a proposed project, ask questions or to obtain a pre-application template, please contact one of the following Business Program Specialists:

    · Marla Marx, marla.marx@ne.usda.gov or 308-632-2195 extension 1132 – panhandle including northwest and southwest counties

    · Kelley Messenger, kelley.messenger@ne.usda.gov or 308-237-3118 extension 1120 – north and south central counties

    · Bill Sheppard, bill.sheppard@ne.usda.gov or 402-371-5350 extension 1004 – northeast and southeast counties

    For more information about USDA loans and grants, call the Nebraska Rural Development Office at (402) 437-5551 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/.

    For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.

    President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

Last Modified:08/21/2014 
 
Footer Corner
RD Home | USDA.gov | Site Map | Policies and Links
FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement | Information Quality | FirstGov | White House