Lincoln, Neb. Aug. 7, 2020- Farmers‘ Markets where consumers with strong preference for local variety, are competitive with other forms of food retail. Starting in the mid-2000s, consumer demand for foods that are fresher and for foods with more variety has led to growth of farmers’ markets.
Farmers’ markets can offer farmers increased profit over selling to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. By selling directly to consumers, produce often needs less transport, less handling, less refrigeration and less time in storage. By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, lighting and air-conditioning is also reduced or eliminated.
USDA 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 across the state have enhanced their business operations using VAPG funds.
- Farm fresh eggs can be found at Farmers‘ Markets thanks to working capital for marketing costs and transportation for delivering eggs.
- Working Capital funds assisted with marketing costs, supplies, salary for additional employees and mileage for honey deliveries. Producer results include 10 new stores of product distribution, two new part-time jobs and new farmer’s market opportunities.
- By executing their retail marketing plan and developing new marketing materials another producer was able to increase local sales at farmers markets, retail and wholesale food businesses and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
- VAPG funds assisted a small family owned dairy with marketing and packaging materials for milk, cheese and yogurt products.
- One producer used VAPG working capital funds to expand their initial sales from local Farmers‘ Markets to restaurants and grocery stores through wholesale distribution.
To discuss applicant and project eligibility or for more information on the VAPG program contact Brant Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-437-5568, Daniel Janke, email@example.com or 402-371-5350 extension 115 or visit Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.
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