USDA Awards Millions To Product Development
The USDA has granted nearly $50 million to further develop new products lines, according to a news release from the agency.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced today, October 27th, that through the Value-Added Producer Grant program (VAPG), more than $45 million will go to 325 projects lead by farmers, ranchers, small businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide to develop new product lines, according to the release.
Since 2009, the USDA has given 1,441 VAPG awards to the total of $183 million, according to the release. The VAPG grants are not only to be used for new product lines from raw agricultural products, but to promote additional uses for established products.
According to the release, Vilsack said, “These grants provide a much-needed source of financing to help producers develop new product lines and increase their income, and keep that income in their communities.” He continued by saying, “Economic development initiatives like this one are working – the unemployment rate in rural America is at an eight-year low and incomes rose 3.4 percent last year. Small business entrepreneurship, which Value-Added Producer Grants support, is a major reason why rural America is a making a comeback.”