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Value-Added Producer Grants

VAPG
Number: 10.352
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
10.352 Value-Added Producer Grants
Federal Agency (030):
Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture
Authorization (040):
Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-224) as amended by section 6202 of the Food. Conservation, and Energy Act 0f 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) (see 7 U.S.C. 1632a note), Title VII, Title VII.
Objectives (050):
To assist eligible independent agricultural commodity producers, agriculture producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based businesses enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added agricultural products, including development of feasibility, business or marketing plans. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income are the end goals.
Types of Assistance (060):
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
The VAPG program offers two types of grants to support activities directly related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added agricultural products. Planning grants provide funding for activities necessary to determine the economic viability of a potential value-added venture, including development of feasibility studies and business plans. Working capital grants provide funds for the day-to-day operating expenses of the venture associated with processing and/or marketing a value-added product. An application may be for either Planning or Working Capital activities, but not both.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
Eligible applicants are independent producers, agriculture producer groups, farmer- and rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based businesses, as defined at 7 CFR 4284.902.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
Agricultural producers.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
Applicants must demonstrate legal capacity and provide evidence of good standing in their State of operations. Applicants for Working Capital funds must provide an independent feasibility study and business plan completed specifically for the proposed value-added project, except as otherwise noted in 7 CFR 4284.922(b)(6)(i and ii). Applicants have the option to demonstrate eligibility for Reserved Funds and/or Priority Points, as applicable. Applicants must provide a detailed budget supporting the work plan that identifies all sources and uses of funds during the project period that are without a conflict of interest. Applicants must provide authentic documentation from the source of matching funds to confirm the eligibility and availability of both cash and in-kind contributions. Applicants must certify that matching funds will be spent in advance of grant funds. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
Preapplication coordination is required. Applicants must obtain and provide their Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and they must be registered in the Federal System for Award Management (SAM) database, prior to submitting an application. Applicants must maintain an active status with current information during the time they have an application under consideration by the Agency or an active Federal Award. Proposed projects are subject to Intergovernmental Review. All recipients of program funds are subject to environmental requirements in 7 CFR 1940, subpart G and any successor regulation. However, due to the specified nature of activities and limited use of funds in this program, both planning and working capital grant projects are generally excluded from the environmental review process by 7 CFR 1940.333, and .309(c) and .317(g)(2), respectively. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. USDA will solicit applications on a competitive basis by publication of a notice in the Federal Register and through the Grants.gov Federal Web site. Applications must be submitted to the State Office of Rural Development in the State where the project primarily takes place, or on-line through grants.gov. Applications must contain all the information specified in 7 CFR 4284.931, and include any additional or subsequent requirements specified in official Agency notifications for the program. Unless specified otherwise, applicants must provide one copy of the proposal and all required content specified in 7 CFR 4284.931, or as otherwise instructed in the annual announcement. An applicant must submit Forms SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, and RD 400-4; and other information as directed. Each proposal must contain the following elements and any additional elements published in the announcement: (1) Executive Summary; (2) Eligibility Discussion; (3) Evaluation Criteria; (4) Certification that matching funds will be spent in advance of grant funding; (5) Verification of the eligibility and availability of both cash and in-kind contributions as matching funds for the project; and (6) Business plan for working capital grants except as provided in 4284.922(b)(6) and 4284.932; and (7) Feasibility study completed by an independent third-party for working capital grants except as provided at 4284.922(b)(6) and 4284.932. Each proposal must demonstrate that the customer base for the agricultural commodity or value-added product is expanded, and a greater portion of the revenue derived from the marketing or processing of the value-added product is available to the applicant producer of the agricultural commodity.
Award Procedure (093):
The Agency conducts an initial screening of all proposals to determine eligibility and completeness to allow for an informed review. Applications will be evaluated by experts selected by the Agency. An applicant qualifying in one of the following categories, as defined at 4284.902, may qualify for priority points; (1) Beginning Farmer or Rancher; (2) Socially-Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher; (3) Operator of a Small or Medium Farm Structured as a Family Farm; and (4) a Farmer or Rancher Cooperative. After evaluation and scoring according to established criteria, the Administrator of Rural Business Cooperative Service reserves the right to award limited additional points to ensure geographic diversity of awards, unless specified otherwise in an official program notification. Applications will then be funded in rank order until all available funds have been allocated. Final processing of the awards and monitoring of projects are the responsibility of the appropriate Rural Development State Office.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
From 100 to 150 days after the application submission deadline.
Appeals (096):
Applicants may appeal any adverse decisions to USDA's National Appeals Division.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. See 7 CFR 4284 sections 902, 923, 924 and 931(b) (3) and (4). Matching funds must at least equal the amount of grant funds requested, and combined grant and matching funds must equal 100 percent of the total eligible project costs. Matching funds must be from eligible sources without a conflict of interest, are subject to the same use restrictions as grant funds, and must be spent on eligible project expenses during the grant period. Matching funds must be provided in the form of confirmed applicant cash, loan or line of credit; or provided in the form of a confirmed applicant or family member in-kind contribution that meets the requirements and limitations specified in 7 CFR 4284.923; or provided in the form of confirmed third-party cash or eligible third-party in-kind contribution, and may include non-federal grant sources (unless otherwise provided by law). Applicants must certify that matching funds will be spent in advance of grant funds, and source-verify both cash and in-kind contributions to the project.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
Typically provided on a reimbursement basis, grant funds may be disbursed over a period of up to 3 years from date of award. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Requests for reimbursement may be submitted to the Agency not more frequently than once every 30 days, and must be accompanied by supporting documentation to demonstrate eligible expenses incurred during the grant funding period. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Narrative Progress Reports and Financial Performance Reports must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office as specified in the grant agreement. A final report must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office within 90 days after the project has been completed. Copies of supporting documentation and/or project deliverables for completed tasks must be provided to the Agency. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office as specified in the grant agreement. A final report must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office within 90 days after the project has been completed. Progress reports must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office as specified in the grant agreement. A final report must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office within 90 days after the project has been completed. Progress reports must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office as specified in the grant agreement. A final report must be submitted to the Rural Development State Office within 90 days after the project has been completed.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and General Accounting office, and/or as noted in the Grant Agreement. .
Records (113):
The Grantee will maintain adequate records and accounts to assure that grant and matching funds are used for authorized purposes. Records required by Federal law and regulations will also be maintained by the Rural Development State Office and the Rural Development-Cooperative Programs National Office. All Grantees are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation in accord with 2 CFR Part 170, unless exempted under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Salaries) FY 12 $40,300,000; FY 13 est $16,000,000; and FY 14 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Varies from year to year.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Not Applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
7 CFR Parts 1951; 7 CFR 3015; 7 CFR 3019; 7 CFR 4284, Subpart J - Value-Added Producer Grants. See the Rural Business Cooperative Service website below for additional information. You may also contact Rural Development State and Local Offices.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
See Regional Agency Offices. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html.
Headquarters Office (152):
Deputy Administrator of Coopertativ 1400 Independence Ave, mail-stop 3250, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: 202-720-7558
Website Address (153):
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Published in the Federal Register and through grants.gov.