Value-Added Grant Program Open for Producer-Controlled Meat and Poultry Processors

Producer-owned or controlled meat and poultry processing enterprises may seek funding for feasibility studies, business and marketing plans, and working capital.
Producer-owned or controlled meat and poultry processing enterprises may seek funding for feasibility studies, business and marketing plans, and working capital through USDA Rural Development's Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, which opened for applications last week.

VAPG is an annual grant program intended to help farmers and ranchers generate new products, create marketing opportunities, and increase their income through value-added activities. Eligible applicants include independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

One part of the VAPG program offers up to $75,000 for developing feasibility studies and business plans. The second part offers up to $250,000 for working capital expenses, including costs associated with processing, marketing, advertising, inventory and salaries. Both grants require a 100 percent match, which can include a combination of cash and in-kind expenses.

***Paper applications must be postmarked and delivered by mail, email or in person to the state office where the project is proposed by close of business on April 16, 2024. Electronic applications will be accepted via until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2024.***

Flower Hill Institute has an overview of the VAPG, including links to the application and resource documents, on its website here. The Meat and Poultry Processing Technical Assistance Network is available to support processors in assessing eligibility for the VAPG program and developing grant applications.

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

You may receive priority if you are:
  • Beginning farmer or rancher.
  • Socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher.
  • Small or medium-sized farm.
  • Ranch structured as a family farm.
  • Farmer or rancher cooperative.
  • Proposing a mid-tier value chain.
Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on

VAPG is part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) which is an umbrella program created under the 2018 Farm Bill. Producers can find other grant funding opportunities at the LAMP web page.
How to Apply
It's a good idea to start the registration process at least a month before any application deadline. To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). The SAM application process is free, but it can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with SAM, you do not need to do it again, ensure your registration remains active.

Before you start the SAM registration process, we suggest reading through the HELP materials available on the SAM website. After you create your account you can register your organization. Please note your Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number because you will need it for your application.
Please read the Federal Register notice for the details on how to apply. Applicants should put together the required information at least a month before the application deadline. The extra time allows collection of required materials such as letters of commitment or support from organizations, a work plan and budget, and other information.

RBCS How-To Apply Video Series for Applicants

For more information regarding the MPPTA program and technical assistance, please visit the official Flower Hill Institute webpage at