For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve McHenry,
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 30, 2024) – The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) has announced a grant funding opportunity to encourage Maryland’s agricultural producers to engage in value-added activities and pursue financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value-Added Producer Grants Program (USDA-VAPG). The USDA-VAPG is a highly competitive nationwide grant program with approximately $31 million available for distribution in 2024.
These federal grant funds can be used for planning (up to $75,000) or working capital expenses (up to $250,000) in accordance with USDA regulations. Eligible purposes include feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for producing and marketing value-added agricultural products.
Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on Grants.gov. VAPG is part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) which is an umbrella program created under the 2018 Farm Bill. Producers can find other grant funding opportunities at the LAMP web page.
MARBIDCO is making available Maryland Value-Added Producer Matching Grants (MVAPMG) of up to 15% of the amount of a USDA-VAPG award to help an eligible applicant meet the one-for-one non-federal financial matching requirement. MARBIDCO’s maximum grant amount is $11,250 for planning grants and $25,000 for working capital grants.
All applicants that meet the MARBIDCO requirements will receive a commitment of matching funds to be included with their federal USDA-VAPG application. A MVAPMG monetary award from MARBIDCO will only be provided to an applicant that is selected to receive USDA-VAPG funding.
The application submission deadline for the national USDA-VAPG program Apr 11, 2024. Paper applications must be submitted by close of business on April 16, 2024, in the USDA RD State Office of the State where the project is located. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight, hand carried or emailed by this date. Electronic applications must be submitted by April 11, 2024. Applications also are permitted via Grants.gov and must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on May 11, 2023.
Questions regarding the USDA-VAPG can be addressed to the Maryland/Delaware Office of USDA-Rural Development at 302-857-3629 or visit USDA’s website for more information.
Applicants seeking to receive a commitment of matching funds from MARBIDCO must submit applications at least two weeks prior to the federal submission deadline. Extended to April 1, 2024, no later than 4:00 p.m., OR March 29, 2024, for a postmarked mail submission. Electronic submissions can be sent to email@example.com
Please visit the MARBIDCO website for more information and to download the MVAPMG application form: https://www.marbidco.org/_pages/programs_grants/grant_programs_mvampg.htm. Questions about the MVAPMG may also be directed to Sierra Criste, MARBIDCO Financial Programs Associate, at 410-267-6807 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARBIDCO was established by the Maryland General Assembly more than 15-years ago to help enhance the sustainability and profitability of the State’s agricultural and resource-based industries in order to help bolster rural economies, support locally produced food and fiber products, and preserve working farm and forest land. MARBIDCO is a nimble, quasi-public financial intermediary organization that has a mission to serve exclusively the commercial farming, forestry, and seafood industries of Maryland. Young and beginning farmers are a special focus for MARBIDCO, as is farm operation diversification. In delivering its financing programs, MARBIDCO works cooperatively with commercial banks and farm credit associations, as well as a host of federal, State, regional, and local government agencies, and universities. Since 2007, MARBIDCO has approved some 1,290 financings totaling more than $102 million for food and fiber business projects located in of all Maryland’s counties – and in the process has leveraged more than $215.8 million in commercial lender financing. For more information about MARBIDCO’s programs, please visit: www.marbidco.org