#2 – Why a VAPG Toolkit Read Through?

Written by Jim Gage

Jim Gage is a long-time value-added agricultural business strategist.  He has assisted more than 100 clients with VAPG clients since 2005, and the following is the second blog on writing the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant. 

As part of the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant application, Rural Development provides applicants with a “toolkit” to guide them through the working capital or planning process.  This 40+ page toolkit is an excellent way to organize the proposal, but it can be intimidating for first-time writers of federal grants.

We offer on the VAPG page a page-by-page read-through of the working capital toolkit to help those unfamiliar with the grant gain some insight into how to approach the grant.  We understand that some of the language and concepts may be new – the idea is to identify how to fill out the forms and/or when to ask your USDA state desk officer for assistance. 

We further identify some of the more difficult essay questions and complex paperwork, and how these will be covered in upcoming seminars and blog posts.  The recording is over an hour long, and the material complicated, so we strongly suggest that those new to the VAPG review it over 2-3 sessions.

Other upcoming VAPG sessions:

  • USDA Rural Development and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) are hosting a webinar for prospective applicants to learn more about the program on March 18th, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET. To join the webinar please click on the following link at the time of the scheduled event. Please help spread the word and be sure to save this on your calendar. 
    • March 18th, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET
    • Microsoft Teams meeting. Join on your computer or mobile app: CLICK HERE TO JOIN!
    • Or call in (audio only) at +1 202-650-0123
    • Phone Conference ID: 382 510 478#