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Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program

Grants to USA Agricultural Businesses to Develop
and Market Value-Added Agricultural Products

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Rural Development

Deadline Date:

03/05/20 Midnight Electronic Receipt via; or postmarked or received by close of business on 03/10/20


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Grants to USA agricultural producers, groups, and other eligible businesses for activities to expand the agricultural market. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying. The purpose of the grant program is to assist agricultural producers to enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

Applicants may receive priority if they are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on

Grant and matching funds can be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. Examples of planning activities include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans for processing and marketing the proposed value-added product. Examples of working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses. 

For details on Project Eligibility, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172471

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 300

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Grant Amount: Planning Grants $75,000; Working Capital Grants: $250,000.

Term of Contract:

Project Period: Up to 36 months depending on the complexity of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer- or rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures, as defined in the program regulation are eligible to apply for this program.

Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants:

A corporation is any entity that has filed articles of incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the various territories of the United States including American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations include both for profit and nonprofit entities.

Eligibility Information:

Applicants must comply with the program regulation 7 CFR part 4284 subpart J in order to meet all of the following eligibility requirements. Required documentation is included in the application package. Applications which fail to meet any of these requirements by the application deadline will be deemed ineligible and will not be evaluated further.

Eligible Applicants:

You must demonstrate within the application narrative that you meet all the applicant eligibility requirements of 7 CFR 4284.920 and 4284.921. This includes meeting the definition requirements at 7 CFR 4284.902 for one of the following applicant types: Independent Producer, Agricultural Producer Group, Farmer or Rancher Cooperative or Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business and also meeting the Emerging Market, Citizenship, Legal Authority and Responsibility, Multiple Grants and Active Grants requirements of the section. Required documentation to support eligibility is contained at 7 CFR 4284.931 and in the application package.

Federally-recognized Tribes and tribal entities must demonstrate that they meet the definition requirements for one of the four eligible applicant types. Rural Development State Offices and posted application toolkits will provide additional information on Tribal eligibility.

Per 4284.921, an applicant is ineligible if they have been debarred or suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs under Executive Order 12549, ‘‘Debarment and Suspension.’’ In addition, an applicant will be considered ineligible for a grant due to an outstanding judgment obtained by the U.S. in a Federal Court (other than U.S. Tax Court), is delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or is delinquent on Federal debt.

Per 4284.905(a), Applicants must comply with other applicable Federal laws. Applicants who are proposing working capital grants to produce and market value-added products in the industries of wine, beer, distilled spirits or other alcoholic merchandise must comply with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations, including but not limited to permitting, filing of taxes and operational reports. If you are not in compliance with TTB’s requirements, the Agency may determine that you are not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant. If, at any time after you have already received a VAPG award, you are found to be in noncompliance with TTB’s operational reporting or tax requirements, the Agency may determine that you are not in compliance with your grant terms and conditions.

An Applicant may submit only one application in response to a solicitation, and must explicitly direct that it compete in either the general funds competition or in one of the named reserved funds competitions. Multiple applications from separate entities with identical or greater than 75 percent common ownership, or from a parent, subsidiary or affiliated organization (with ‘‘affiliation’’ defined by Small Business Administration regulation 13 CFR 121.103, or successor regulation) are not permitted. Further, Applicants who have already received a Planning Grant for the proposed project cannot receive another Planning Grant for the same project. Applicants who have already received a Working Capital Grant for the proposed project cannot receive any additional grants for that project (Proposals from previous award recipients should be substantially different in terms of products and/or markets and should not merely be extensions of previously funded projects).

Ineligible Uses of Grant and Matching Funds:

Federal procurement standards prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent Conflict of Interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their Immediate Family members having a personal, professional, financial or other interest in the outcome of the project; including organizational conflicts, and conflicts that restrict open and free competition for unrestrained trade. A list (not all-inclusive) of ineligible uses of grant and matching funds is found in 7 CFR 4284.926.

Pre-Application Information:

You must submit your application by March 10, 2020 or it will not be considered for funding. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped or sent overnight by this date. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. Electronic applications are permitted via only and must be received before Midnight Eastern time on March 5, 2020. Late applications are not eligible for grant funding under this Notice.

There is a matching fund (cost-sharing) requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds provided by the Agency (matching funds plus grant funds must equal proposed Total Project Cost). Matching funds may be in the form of cash or eligible in-kind contributions. Matching funds must be available at time of application and must be certified and verified as described in 7 CFR 4284.931(b)(3) and (4).

You should contact your USDA Rural Development State Office if you have questions about eligibility or submission requirements. You are encouraged to contact your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and to ask any questions about the application process.

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.

See here for information on DUNS:

See here for information on SAM:

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

This program is administered by the State Office. State Office contact information may be found here:

Shantelle Gordon, Management Analyst Phone

Grants Division
Cooperative Programs
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW.
MS 3253, Room 4008-South
Washington, DC 20250-3253

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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