Value Added Producer Grants: Planning Ahead
Are you going to apply for a USDA Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) this year? The 2013 Notice of Funding Availability, or NOFA, was announced in the Federal Register on November 23, 2013. Grants are due February 24, 2014. Please see our new resources down below.
1. Apply for a DUNS number - Contact Dun & Bradstreet to obtain your free DUNS number, a 9-digit identification number linked to your business and required of all applicants. You can request your number on this webpage or by phone at 1-866-705-5711. You will need to provide certain information.
2. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM) database - For assistance, refer to the SAM Quick Start Guide for New Grantee Registration and to the SAM Video Tutorial for New Applicants. You can also call the Federal Service Desk at 1–866-606–8220.
3. Contact the USDA Rural Development (RD) office in your state - The most recent information on funding availability and applications is available through your state USDA RD Office.
4. Decide what kind of grant you want to pursue - Are you going to apply for a planning grant or a working capital grant? Keep in mind that applicants for a working capital grant may have to provide a business plan and a feasibility study completed for the proposed project.
5. Visit the official VAPG website - This website provides grant program information, including links to several VAPG Information Sheets and to the forms that VAPG applicants must complete.
6. Consider if you qualify for a simplified application - Applicants requesting less than $50,000 working capital funds may submit the application without providing an independent feasibility study or business plan, but must still demonstrate expected increases in customer base and revenue returns to the producer applicants supplying the majority of the agricultural commodity for the project.
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.
NEW!! -- Official NOFA
- General Program
- Supporting Innovation
- Anaerobic Digesters
- Local Foods
- Mid-Tier Value Chain
Visit USDA's Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) website to access the latest information for this grant program.
During the last round of funding, USDA selected 114 VAPG recipients in 43 states, Guam and Puerto Rico to receive assistance, awarding more than $16 million. A complete list of the recipients is available online.
Need answers to ag-related questions? Use this USDA tool to locate and contact a land-grant university Cooperative Extension specialist in your state.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), an NRCS program, provides financial and technical assistance to ag producers. Three EQIP Initiatives may be of particular interest to value-added ag producers: (1) The On-Farm Energy Initiative, (2) Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative and (3) Organic Initiative. For more details, contact your local NRCS field office.
grants.gov - This website provides information on over 1,000 federal grant programs and access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards, including the Value-Added Producer Grant program.
Guide to Federal Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems, National Sustainable Ag Coalition, 2010 - This guide describes 14 USDA grant and loan programs that support the development of local and regional food systems.