The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making up to $44 million available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.
“America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners are innovative entrepreneurs and this program helps them grow economic opportunities for their families and communities by increasing the value of the things they produce,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The Value-Added Producers Grant program has a great track record of helping producers increase the value of products, expand their markets and customer base.”
The Value-Added Producers Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones, said José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico.
Priority for these grants is given to Veterans, members of socially disadvantage groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small and medium sized family farms and ranches. Additional priority is given to applicants who seek funding for projects that will create or increase marketing opportunities for these types of operators.
Value-Added Producer Grants are a key element of USDA’s “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food,” program to develop local and regional food systems.