Home Law School News Drake Law School to host free workshop on agricultural grant program

Drake Law School to host free workshop on agricultural grant program

DES MOINES — Aug. 29, 2012 – Drake Law School Agricultural Law Center will host a free workshop on the benefits of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG). The event will be held on Thurs., Sept. 6, 2012 at the Neal and Bea Smith Legal Clinic, 2400 University Ave. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the workshop will last until noon. Farmers, business owners, and professional agriculture affiliates are encouraged to attend.

The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Jeff Jobe, Rural Business Service, West Regional Coordinator will be the guest speaker from USDA. Several members of the Iowa Rural Development team will be on hand. This workshop will also offer help to those considering an application.

Grant applications are due by Oct. 15, 2012. This year up to $14 million will be available across the nation. According to Matt Russell, state food policy project coordinator at Drake, 100% of eligible proposals from Iowa were funded during the last round. Maximum grant amounts include $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants.

“Drake’s excited to partner with USDA to help inform Iowa’s food producers about the opportunity to support their businesses. Iowa farmers have had great success in competing for Value Added Producer Grants. We hope to see that success continue,” said Neil Hamilton, professor of law and director of the Agricultural Law Center.

This event is one of many celebrating the 30th anniversary of Drake’s Agricultural Law Center.

For more information, contact Matt Russell at 515-271-4956 or matt.russell@drake.edu.