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Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG)

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 bio-based value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain, as defined in the Program Regulation. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

Program Status: CLOSED
Closing Date: April 8, 2014

Estimated Program Funding: Approximately $10.5 million in carry over funding from fiscal year (FY) 2013 is available to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. The NOFA is being published prior to the Congressional enactment of a full-year appropriation for FY 2014. Should additional funding be made available during FY 2014 for this program, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, (RBS) will continue to fund applications received under this announcement based upon the applications score. At this time, the exact amount of funding that will be made available to this program for FY 2014 is unknown. Anyone interested in submitting an application for funding under this program should consult the Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant Program website periodically for updated information regarding any FY 2014 funding for the Program.

Maximum Grant Amount: $75,000 for planning grants; $200,000 for working capital grants Cost Sharing Requirement: Cash or eligible in-kind matching funds equal to at least the amount of grant funds requested.

Grant Program Information

Am I eligible to apply? How do I apply?  
You must meet the requirements of one of the following applicant types: Independent Producer, Agricultural Producer Group, Farmer or Rancher Cooperative, or Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business Venture.  Your proposed value-added product must also fall within one of the five product categories, and you must also comply with all the other eligibility requirements detailed in the Program Regulation, NOFA, and Notice of Extension.

Each fiscal year, applications are solicited through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register. You must become familiar with information in the NOFA for the VAPG Program, the Notice of Extension, and the Program Regulation.

In addition, you may use these tools:

What can I do with the grant? If I get the grant, what’s next?  
You may use grant funds 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.  You 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.

 You will need to complete required paperwork and comply with the terms and conditions of the award.  Contact your nearest Rural Development office for details.

What resources are available? What if I have a question?  

The following documents are for informational purposes only. If interested in applying for a VAPG grant, an applicant shall follow the official instructions provided in the annual Notice of Funding Availability.

Training Resources

Websites & Forms

USDA Forms


Contact your USDA Rural Development State Office for help. Contact information for each State office is available.

Prior Year Recipients

VAPG Grant Recipients FY2011

VAPG Grant Recipients FY2012

Prior Year Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA)




For more information on Cooperatives including other funding opportunities, please visit our main Cooperatives page.

Last Modified:11/20/2014 
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