GREENSBURG, Pa. — Farm producers planning value-added agricultural ventures are invited to learn about this matching grant program from USDA at a free workshop from 9-10 a.m. on Monday, February 3, 2020, at the Penn State Extension Conference Room at Donohoe Center, 214 Donohoe Road, Greensburg PA 15601. Presenting will be Karen Kuhns, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist and the program manager for Pennsylvania for the Value Added Grant Program (VAPG).
Following the one-hour workshop, a limited number of attendees will have the opportunity for one-on-one consultations with Ms. Kuhns about their proposed projects.
The Value Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers enter into agricultural activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. Funding is designed to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase income for farmer producers. “Value-added” methods of an agricultural commodity include: change in physical state, physical segregation, production to enhance value, locally produced or marketed food products, and farm or ranch-based renewable energy.
Examples that may be eligible for grant funding include: food products such as wine, flour, cheese, jam; organic, grass-fed, buy local – buy fresh; community-based food enterprises, farm to institution, farm to food service; restaurant and value chain using a consumer seal; or renewable projects such as anerobic digesters.
VAP Grants require a 50% match provided by the applicant. However, up to 25% of the match may be an “in-kind” match, such as the cost of your labor or farm product value. For example, a producer planning to begin cheese production may factor in the value of the milk they produce on-farm to satisfy some of the match. Grant funds may not be used for repair, acquisition or construction of a building or facility or to purchase, rent or install fixed equipment.
Applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant program are due March 10th.
Register today to attend the February 3rd workshop at https://www.troopstotractors.org/vapg or by calling 724.691-1087. If interested in applying but you cannot attend the workshop, contact Karen Kuhns, Area Specialist at (724) 261-3893, or e-mail Karen.Kuhns@usda.gov to discuss your potential project. Learn more at rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants
This workshop is hosted by the PA Veteran Farming Project/Troops to Tractors with partners USDA Rural Development and the Westmoreland Conservation District.
–PA Veteran Farming Project