The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program was first established in the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 and was later amended in the 2002 Farm Bill. Grant funds are available for planning activities and working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based energy. Independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures are eligible.
The USDA website includes information about past winners, the application process, a full program guide, and links to the required federal forms:
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) announced the availability of approximately $19.3 million in competitive grant funds for fiscal year (FY) 2007 to help independent agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Awards may be made for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000.Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than May 16, 2007, to be eligible for FY 2007 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by May 16, 2007 to be eligible for FY 2007 grant funding.
Previous VAPG Recipients for Wind Energy Projects
Wray Farmer-Owned Wind Farm Group, Colorado: $128,000
Grant funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study and to develop a business plan for a farmer-owned commercial wind energy project in Wray, CO.
Iowa Floyd County Wind: $7,312
Purpose: This is a 6 member producer group using Value-added Producer Grants funds to investigate the potential of electrical wind generation in Floyd County, IA.
Iowa Farm Energy, LLC: $7,500
Purpose: Farm Energy, LLC requested grant funds to assist in determining the feasibility and business planning of a small scale producer owned wind farm in Northwest Iowa.
Idaho West Slope Farms, Inc: $20,250
Purpose: To determine the feasibility of installing on-farm wind turbines.
Oregon Summit Ridge Group: $85,900
Provided a positive outcome of the feasibility study, the project will create a new business to coordinate and finance the development, construction and operation of on-farm wind turbines, resulting in the sale of electricity.
Harvest Land Cooperative, Morgan, Minnesota: $148,000
Purpose: To assist in the development of on-farm renewable energy generation using wind.
Last Mile Electric Cooperative, Olympia, Washington: $150,000
Purpose: To assess the feasibility of installing small scale wind turbines on farms in the Pacific Northwest.