Seeking working capital or funds to plan, start or expand a value-added venture with your farm, cooperative or agricultural organization? Apply now for federal funds.
Applications for the 2008 grant cycle of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2008 Value-Added Producer Grant program became available today. The deadline is March 31. Funds come from the USDA's Rural Development agency.
Grant funding for 2008 is available to independent producers, farmer or ranch cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-owned producer-based business ventures. Funds can be used for determining the viability of a potential value-added venture or for working capital funds. A maximum of $100,000 is available for a planning grant, while a maximum of $300,000 is available for working capital grants. The approximate total funding is $18.4 million and the approximate number of awards is 130.
Last year, 162 recipients from 42 states received $22.6 million to implement innovative projects, including 15 from Wisconsin totaling $3.3 million.
Wisconsin agricultural groups and producers use VAPG funds for a variety of projects, including new venture start-up costs, feasibility studies to develop new products, expand product lines and grow brand marketing.
For more information or for assistance navigating the grant process, contact Barb Brewster, USDA Rural Development Office, Steven's Point, 715-345-7610; or Carl Rainey, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 608-224-5129 or visit the Web site: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm.