Provided by John D. Perkins, Area Director #9
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA is making up to $44 million available nationwide to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.
“America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners are innovative entrepreneurs and this program helps them grow economic opportunities for their families and communities by increasing the value of the items they produce,” Vilsack said. “The Value-Added Producer Grant program has a great track record of helping producers increase the value of products and expand their markets and customer base, strengthening rural America in the process.”
“Investing in the creative ideas of innovative Texans will result in a positive step towards rural economic and community development,” said Paco Valentin, Texas Rural Development State Director. “We are pleased to offer this opportunity to farmers, ranchers and producers whose endeavors will strengthen rural communities and fuel innovation.”
Value-Added Producer Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones. Priority for these grants is given to veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches. Additional priority is given to applicants who seek funding for projects that will create or increase marketing opportunities for these types of operators.
More information on how to apply is on page 20607 of the April 8 Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/08/2016-08028/inviting-applications-for-value-added-producer-grants). Please direct any additional questions to the Texas USDA Rural Development State Office at (254) 742-9780. The deadline to submit paper applications is July 1, 2016. Electronic applications submitted through grants.gov are due June 24, 2016. Additional information and assistance is available through the USDA Rural Development Office serving your county.