Time Running Out to Apply for Value Added Producer Grants

In small town America, one of the best strategies for creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities is fostering entrepreneurship and small business development. On rural America’s family farms and ranches, that means value added and niche market ventures.
Moreover, creating these ventures fosters entrepreneurship, keeps wealth in rural communities, enhances farm and ranch profitability, revives rural mainstreets and creates opportunities for young families to return to rural America.

While we don’t know how cuts from the budget debate will impact rural development investments in the future, we do know that the USDA is currently accepting applications for $37 million in competitive Value Added Producer Grants to develop value added ventures. And ten percent of that is reserved specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

These grants assist farmers and ranchers in starting and expanding ventures that increase the value of raw farm and ranch products. Marketing unique and high quality food products – local, natural, organic, etc. – also adds value.

However, the application deadline of August 29, 2011 is quickly approaching so interested producers should not hesitate.

The Center for Rural Affairs is prepared to assist with the following fact sheets and additional information – http://www.cfra.org/resources/vapg/fact_sheet and http://www.cfra.org/node/2672, or, call our Farm Bill Helpline for assistance in understanding Value Added Producer Grants, as well as guidance to additional resources to help with the program and application (simply call (402) 687-2100 and ask for the Farm Bill Helpline)

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