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Value Added Producer Grant Program

USDA Value Added Producer Grants and business planning assistance for value added agricultural ventures will be the focus of a meeting on February 2 at 9:30AM to 12:00 noon. The meeting will be held at the Pappajohn Center (Room 117) located on the NIACC Campus east of Mason City.

Connie Noll, Area Business and Cooperative Specialist with USDA-Rural Development will discuss the USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant Program. This grant program provides funding for business planning for a new value added agriculture venture or funding to offset the working capital expenses to operate a new agricultural value added venture. Working capital expenses can include purchasing inventory or office equipment or paying salaries, utilities or office space.

USDA-RD anticipates the application period for the VAPG program will be announced in the next couple of months.

Examples of previous grant recipients in Iowa include wineries, cheese and milk processors, specialty meat producers, and marketing of locally produced food products.

Mark Olchefske, Director of Incubation and Acceleration Services with the Pappajohn Center will discuss the business aspects of a value added project including business plans, feasibility studies and marketing plans.

Value-Added Agricultural Product is any agricultural commodity or product that:
– has undergone a change in physical state;
– was produced in a manner that enhances the value of the agricultural commodity or product;
– is physically segregated in a manner that results in the enhancement of the value of the Agricultural Commodity or product;
– is aggregated and marketed as a locally-produced agricultural food product;

This workshop is sponsored by USDA Rural Development, Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Prairie Winds RC&D (641-923-3606, Ext# 5) and Cedar Valley RC&D (641-257-1912 Ext #4).

There is no charge for this workshop.||

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