Got an idea for a new food product, or a way to add value to the products you produce on farm? If so, then you’ll want to check into the Value-Added Agriculture Development Grant Program.

Announced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the competitive grants were designed to encourage producers to be active participants in the effort to expand market opportunities for the goods they produce. Today, more and more consumers pay top dollar for foods that deliver convenience and nutrition in one package. And when producers develop ideas for value-added food products, it helps them reclaim a portion of the consumer food dollar.

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service will be awarding approximately $20 million in funding through the grant program. Criteria for the grants include feasibility of the value-added venture, level of producer commitment, level of commitment from end-users of the product, and the projected cost.

There will be two competitions for grants of up to $500,000 in matching dollars. Application deadlines are April 23, for the first competition and June 27, for the second. For more information about the grant program, contact Tom Stafford at, or Marc Warman at