The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program is designed to grow local economies in rural and Tribal areas by helping small businesses and agricultural producers generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase overall producer income.

Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer- or rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures are eligible to apply for this program.

The application period for these grants opens soon, and grants are awarded through a national competition. Understanding how to navigate the application process is critical to success. Thankfully there is help.

In partnership with the Montana Department of Agriculture and the Montana Food and Agriculture Development Network, the team at USDA Rural Development in Montana is hosting two free webinars (virtual workshops) that provide helpful tips on how to complete and submit a competitive application.

WEBINAR 1: January 17, 2024, at noon (MST)

Register at:

WEBINAR 2: January 23, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. (MST)

Register at:

For more information about the USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant program in Montana, contact Marlee Johnston, Agriculture Producer State Specialist, at

More From KSEN AM 1150