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If you sell direct-to-consumer check out Value Added Producer Grants

ChopLocal and Stewards Unlimited are hosting an informational webinar.

There are currently several USDA grant opportunities available to strengthen local meat supply chains. Nearly $20 million in total funding has been allocated for the 2022 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

Many farmers selling direct-to-consumer, including livestock farmers, are eligible to apply for VAPG. Applications will be accepted by USDA’s Rural Development program online until April 25, 2022, or via mail until May 2, 2022. The maximum grant award is $250,000, which must be matched by the farmer. A reduced cost-share match requirement of 10% of the grant amount is available for a portion of the funds.

ChopLocal, an online marketplace making it easy for farmers and small processors to sell their meat via ecommerce, is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. CST to help producers learn more about the VAPG. The webinar will review the grant requirements, and Stephen Ussery from Stewards Unlimited, an agricultural grant writing service, will share tips on writing successful grant applications.

“Grant-writing can be an intimidating process for farmers,” says Ussery, “but I’ve found that the Value Added Producer Grant is a great place to start.” Ussery has written several successful VAPG applications for farmers in the past, including the Barreras Family Farm in Blair, Nebraska, which received $249,518 for beef processing through the Value-Added Producer Grant in 2021.

“Because the VAPG funds can be used to offset processing and marketing costs, the grant can really accelerate the growth of a direct-to-consumer farm business, like the ones utilizing the ChopLocal platform,” says Katie Olthoff, ChopLocal.

To register for the webinar, visit choplocal.com/vapg.

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