CHICAGO — Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that the USDA has selected 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico to receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Merrigan made the announcement in Chicago after keynoting the “Local/Regional Food System Conference” hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama was clear that we need to do more to create jobs and promote economic growth. These projects will provide financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across the country,” Merrigan said. “This funding will promote small business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities by providing local businesses with access capital, technical assistance and new markets for products and services.”
For example, Bloomery Plantation Distillery, LLC, of Charles Town, will utilize a $49,000 grant, leveraged with an applicant contribution, as working capital to produce and market hand-crafted, artisan fruit cordials using farm-grown produce. Value-Added Producer Grants are made available to agricultural producers seeking to establish or expand markets for their value-added agricultural products.
For a complete list of recipients receiving grants, go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rd-vapg012012.pdf. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.