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USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Information Session February 14 in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, MI Agricultural producers can learn about the USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program at an information session Tuesday, February 14 in Traverse City. The session is being offered by USDA Rural Development in cooperation with MSU Extension, the MSU Product Center, and the Northwest Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of the program.

USDA Rural Development Business Specialist, Bobbie Morrison will provide an overview and requirements of the program. Wendy Wieland, MSU Extension/MSU Product Center and Annie Olds, SBDC Regional Director will discuss how the respective organizations can assist businesses with the grant application process, business planning, financial analysis, and market research. The information session will help producers learn if the grant program is the right tool for their farming operation and how local partners can assist with their application.

The information session will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the large conference room at the Traverse City Michigan Works Center, 1209 South Garfield Avenue. The entrance to the conference room is located off the parking lot on the south side of the building.

There is no charge to attend the event but pre-registration is required. For online registration go to: You can also register or get more information by contacting the SBDC at: or 231-922-3780.

About Michigan SBDC

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) provides expert business assistance to help Michigan businesses raise capital, develop business plans and export strategies, and commercialize technologies. The Northwest Michigan Regional office is hosted by Networks Northwest and serves the ten county region including: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties. The Northwest Michigan SBDC’s contributing partners are Baker College, North Central Michigan College, and Venture North. For more information, go to:

The Michigan SBDC State Headquarters is located at Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids. Michigan small business owners may access the Michigan SBDC services by contacting 616-331-7480 or  

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Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager