VAPG Spotlight


VAPG Spotlight
“KCARD provides a whole potpourri of services to
producers. I attended the educational seminars focused on grant opportunities and they were just top
notch,” said Cynthia Bohn of Equus Run Vineyards. “I
believe their input during the application review was
critical to our application’s success.”
The VAPG awards help agricultural producers increase
their income by expanding marketing opportunities,
creating new products or developing new uses for
existing products. The grants are designed to have a
far reaching impact by supporting local and regional
Kentucky’s grant recipients
will use the funds to expand
their businesses and create
economic growth in the rural
communities where they are
located. This year’s recipients
are receiving grant funds for an
array of projects across Kentucky.
Equus Run Vineyards in Midway will use the funds to
expand the marketing area of
its Kentucky branded fruit beverages. Lazy Eight Stock Farm,
LLC in Berea plans to expand
the market for Kentucky grown
certified organic produce. Hill
and Hollow Farm in Metcalfe County will add value
to raw fleece by producing organic natural yarn and
wool roving, including using their own organic indigo
and goldenrod dyes. Need More Acres Farm, LLC in
Bowling Green will use the funds to expand the customer base and introduce new value-added products.
Reid’s Orchard, a 140 year old family farm in Owensboro, will expand the marketing area of its products.
“We began working with the grant recipients early,
giving us time to effectively demonstrate that they
are a good investment for the USDA,” explained
Myrisa Christy, Agricultural Grant Facilitation Program
(AGFP) Coordinator. “It’s rewarding when that work
translates to real sources of new capital assistance for
“KCARD was privileged to work
with all of the award recipients
for this competitive grant,” said
Aleta Botts, Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for
Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD). “Our business
development specialists worked
on business plans with many of
them, and we used our grant
facilitation program to help
them navigate the process. The Kentucky Agriculture
Development Board’s support allows us to work as a
team to assist Kentucky’s farmers, which paid off in
this round of funding.”
food systems and financing
the distribution of local and
regional products.
This week, Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack announced five
Kentucky agribusinesses will be
awarded $412,846 for the USDA
Value Added Producer Grants
(VAPG): Equus Run Winery, Hill
and Hollow Farm, Lazy Eight
Stock Farm, Need More Acres
Farm, and Reid’s Orchard.
August 2014
KCARD clients awarded over $400,000
in USDA Value-Added Producer
“Myrisa was a valuable resource helping us understand the terminology and the process as we
applied for the Value-Added Producer Grant,” said
Carla Baumann of Lazy Eight Stock Farm. “Nathan
(Routt) also helped us hone in on our business plan
and tweaked it for the application. I just can’t say
enough good stuff about the team.”
KCARD is already working with USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern and Kentucky’s USDA
Rural Development team to identify applicants for
the 2015 funding cycle. The AGFP developed an
eight week webinar series on the application, tackling different aspects of writing the VAPG and providing guidance on application scoring. This free
resource is available to interested Kentucky farmers.
“KCARD can assist you in determining your eligibility
and work with you on project development. Often,
this is an outgrowth of our development of business
plans, which makes the grant more competitive,
and ensures that the business is more sustainable
long term,” said Botts. “We encourage any agribusiness interested in applying for the VAPG to contact
Myrisa for assistance now.”
KCARD works with rural businesses and agribusinesses across the Commonwealth to provide
specialized assistance increasing the chances for
success. KCARD provides a range of services to
their clients including strategic planning, feasibility assessments, business management, operations
analysis, recordkeeping development, cost analysis,
and on-site business consultations. KCARD’s work
is supported by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, the US Department of Agriculture’s
Rural Cooperative Development Grant, and other
sources. To learn more about KCARD’s services visit