USDA to award up to $14 million for biobased product development

August 16, 2012 |

In Washington, USDA Rural Development is making up to $14 million in grants available for projects that help farmers and ranchers produce biobased products from agricultural commodities. The grants, which are competitively awarded, are available for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income are the goals of the VAPG program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted, “The funds in this program enable America’s farmers, ranchers and rural business owners to find ways to expand their product offerings, revenue streams and create more economic opportunity by bringing additional value to what they already produce.”

Applicants have until October 15, 2012 to apply. Vilsack emphasized that far too many producers are missing out on significant economic opportunities when their products are enhanced further away from the farm. “When our producers keep their value-added activities closer to the farm, it not only improves their bottom line; it strengthens our rural economy and strengthens our rural communities.”

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