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Center for Rural Affairs

Deadline Approaching

September 30, 2009
Dysart Reporter

Deadline for Value-Added Producer Grants Quickly Approaching

By Traci Bruckner,, Center for Rural Affairs

The deadline to apply for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program is November 30, 2009. There is $18 million available this round.

The Value Added program was originally released earlier this year but was pulled back to make some needed changes - changes that will make an enormous positive impact all thanks to USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

So for those farmers and ranchers that are eligible to apply for the value added program, it is important to note that for the first time this program will be directly targeted to projects from beginning, socially disadvantaged and small and mid-size family farmers and ranchers.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we have found high-value, niche markets to be a proven strategy for creating and maintaining profitability for many of the family farmers and ranchers we have worked with over the years. Now, applicants that meet the beginning, socially disadvantaged and small or mid-size family farm criteria, will automatically get 15 points out of a total of 90. That should certainly help tip the scale in their direction.

Part of rural revitalization is finding ways to secure family-scale agriculture. Conventional agriculture has largely failed in this regard by encouraging growth at the expense of our neighbors and eliminating opportunities for beginners. Value-added agriculture that supports local and regional markets can reverse that trend.

For more information on the Value-Added Producer Grants Program, contact Traci Bruckner at

The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.



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