Thompson Announces Funding Availability for USDA Value-Added Producer Grants

Jul 5, 2011 Issues: Agriculture

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) this week announced the availability of approximately $37 million in Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for Fiscal Year 2011, according to Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard.  The VAPG Program, which provides economic assistance to help independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups enter into value-added activities, began accepting grant applications on June 28, 2011.

The VAPG Program will assist independent agriculture producers in developing business plans for viable marketing opportunities. Cooperative Programs will competitively award funds for Planning Grants and Working Capital Grants directly related to the processing and marketing of value-added products. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.

Eligible applicants must meet eligibility requirements and receive USDA approval on the financial feasibility of the project or business venture. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000. Completed applications must be received no later than August 29, 2011.

Additional information on USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant Program: 

Matching Funds:  Grant funds may be used to pay up to 50 percent of the total eligible project costs, subject to the limitations established for maximum total grant amount.

Preliminary Review: Applicants may submit drafts of their applications to their State Offices for a preliminary review no later than 30 days prior to the application deadline. The preliminary review is an informal assessment of grant eligibility.

Simplified Applications: All applicants requesting less than $50,000 working capital grant funds may submit a simplified application. These applicants are not required to provide feasibility studies or business plans, but must demonstrate the expected increases in customer base and revenues.

For application assistance, please contact USDA. The representatives responsible for assisting in the preparation and receipt of grant applications originating in Northwest and Northeast Pennsylvania are as follows:  

Northwest Pennsylvania Representative

Name: Mr. Barry Miller

Phone: 814-336-6155 EXT 110


Counties of jurisdiction: Warren, McKean, Potter, Venango, Forest, Elk, Cameron, Clinton, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield, and Centre.

Northeast Pennsylvania Representative

Name: Mr. Jack Kauffman

Phone: 610-791-9810 EXT 123


Counties of jurisdiction: Tioga and Lycoming.

For general questions regarding the USDA’s VAPG Program eligibility rules and application procedures, please visit the Federal Registry by clicking here.