Posted December 2, 2013
UDSA recently announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities, according to the USDA news release available here.
Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, said, “U.S. agriculture is connected to one in 12 American jobs, and value-added products from homegrown sources are one important way that agriculture generates economic growth…Supporting producers and businesses to create value-added products strengthens rural economies, helps fuel innovation, and strengthen marketing opportunities for producers – especially at the local and regional level.”
The funding is available through the Value-Added Producer Grantprogram and can be used for working capital and planning activities.  The maximum working capital grant is $200,000 and the maximum planning grant is $75,000. 
Grant applications are due by Feb. 24, 2014. 
The Modesto Bee also reported on the story here.  “Value-added” produces are raw produced that are processed to make something different.  Examples of “value-added” products include fruit cups, roasted and salted almonds, ready-made chicken.  Other examples include turning raw tomatoes into salsa, ketchup, and pasta sauce and turning milk into cheese, butter, and ice cream.


For more information on value added products, a report from the Congressional Research Service available as a free resource on the National Agricultural Law Center’s website is available here.