USDA Rural Development is accepting competitive applications for $18.4 million in grants to develop value-added agriculture business ventures and alternative sources of renewable energy.
Applications must be postmarked by March 31 if sent by mail or courier delivery service, and they must be received by March 31 if submitted through Grants.gov.
"Any producer needing planning or working capital funds to move their value-added ideas forward should check out the Value-Added Producer Grants program," commented Mike Heavrin, program cooperative development manager at the Center for Rural Affairs. "Individuals interested in applying for a Value-Added Producer Grant should not hesitate as the deadline is quickly approaching and the process can be extensive."
The Value-Added Producer Grants Program awards grants to agricultural producers, businesses owned by a majority of agricultural producers, and organizations representing agricultural producers for business planning or working capital expenses associated with marketing a value-added agricultural product. Agricultural producers include farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and fishermen that engage in the production or harvesting of an agricultural commodity.
The program was created to help producers expand their customer base for the products or commoditiesÂ they produce. This results in a greater portion ofÂ revenues derived from the value-added activity being made available to the producer of the product.
For more information on the Value-Added Producer Grants Program and how to apply, visit:âhttp://www.rurdev. usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm or contact Mike Heavrin, program cooperative development manager at the Center for Rural Affairs at (402) 687-2103 Ext. 1008, mikeh@ cfra.org.