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USDA Rural Development Supports Nebraska Businesses
Nebraska Ag Connection - 05/15/2019

National Small Business Week has been celebrated every year since 1963. USDA Rural Development considers it a privilege to provide programs that assist small businesses in rural areas.

Rural Development's Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program facilitates the creation and development of value-added farmer-owned businesses. The VAPG program helps agricultural producers across the state enabling farmers, ranchers, and cooperatives grow their business through the development and marketing of new and existing products. Independent agricultural producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and producer controlled entities are eligible. VAPG funds may be used for planning activities or working capital expenses related to producing or marketing a value-added product.

Producers from Sarpy, Howard, Hall, Custer, Phelps and many other counties across the state have enhanced their business operations using VAPG funds. One producer used VAPG funds to complete a market expansion of product sales adding one additional job to their business. VAPG funds were used to complete a study and a business plan to determine the feasibility of establishing a new business with the potential to create four jobs. VAPG funds supported processing and marketing an existing product including rebranding, website development, labeling, packaging and advertising to increase the business customer base of wholesale accounts and add revenue. VAPG funds helped expand a locally sourced food through a CSA and indoor farmers market supporting an increased customer base, increased revenue and additional jobs in rural Nebraska.

To discuss applicant and project eligibility or for more information on the VAPG program contact Brant Richardson, brant.richardson@usda.gov or 402-437-5568, Daniel Janke, daniel.janke@usda.gov or 402-371-5350 extension 115 or visit Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.

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