Need cash? Individual producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, ag producer groups and majority controlled producer-based businesses are eligible for up to $500,000 from USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program. The program has been funded with approximately $13.2 million for 2004.

The grants may be used for planning activities and working capital for value-added ag products and for farm-based renewable energy — like a methane digester. Funds must be matched by an equal amount from the applicant or a third party.

Applications are currently being accepted. The deadline is 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 30.

For more information, go to: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm

USDA Rural Development