Friday, May 22, 2015

Upcoming Grant Deadlines for Producers

Value-Added Producer Grants – July 2
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program provides competitively awarded grants to individual independent agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, producer-controlled entities, organizations representing agricultural producers, and farmer or rancher cooperatives to create or develop value-added producer-owned businesses. These grants may be used to fund business and marketing plans and feasibility studies or to acquire working capital to operate a value-added business venture or alliance. On May 8th , the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $30 million in funding through the competitive VAPG Program. The deadline to submit paper applications isJuly 7. Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due July 2.

Organic Certification Cost Share Programs – Reimbursement On-going
USDA offers farmers two programs to help defray a portion of the annual costs associated with organic certification: the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA). Both programs are noncompetitive financial assistance programs that help defray the costs of organic certification and are administered by the National Organic Program (NOP). NOCCSP is available nationally, while AMA is available only in certain states in the northeast and west.
On May 14, the USDA announced the availability of approximately $11.9 million in funding for organic certification cost-share assistance for organic producers and handlers through state departments of agriculture. Payments for certification-related expenses incurred from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 can reimburse up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per farm certification.