Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

  • Donald Mulson
  • Business Programs Specialist
  • USDA Rural Development
  • 2118 W. Park Court, Suite A,
  • Champaign, IL 61821
  • Phone: (217) 403-6216
  • Fax: 855-832-8690
  • Email:
  • Website Link:

Purpose of the Program

The VAPG Program is intended to provide grant funds to agricultural producers for planning activities or working capital expenses to assist them in generating higher incomes through value-added processes. The program provides grant funding to enable viable agricultural producers (those who are prepared to progress to the next business level of planning for, or engaging in, value-added agricultural production) to develop businesses that produce and market value-added agricultural products.

Who is Eligible

Applicants must be independent producers; farmer cooperatives; agricultural producer groups; or majority-controlled, producer-based business ventures.  Applicants may apply either for a Planning Grant or for a Working Capital Grant, but not both.  Applicants must fund dollar-for-dollar.  Grant and matching funds cannot be used to pay any expenses related to the production of any commodity or product to which value will be added.

Application Process

USDA solicits applications on a competitive basis by publication of one or more Requests for Proposals that are published in the Federal Register.  More information is available at

Availability of Funds

The estimated funding for FY 2012 is approximately $14 million for the entire nation. The limits are established in the Federal Register publication each year and are subject to change.

How Funds are to be used

Planning Grant funds may be used to contract with a 3rd party professional to develop a business plan, complete a feasibility study, or develop a marketing plan for a proposed or existing value-added venture. Working Capital Grants may be used to pay for marketing expenses, utilities, labor expenses for employees who do not have a conflict of interest, inventory, and supplies related to the operation of a value-added venture.

Types of Assistance


Year Program was established