UT workshops helps entrepreneurs develop value-added ag businesses

Published 12:39 pm Monday, January 27, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture is offering three opportunities for training this month to help entrepreneurs develop value-added agricultural businesses. The workshop will focus on USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program, which helps producers enter into value-added activities related to processing and marketing new products. The workshops will be presented in each grand division of the state on Jan. 28, 29 and 30.

“Several Tennessee producers have successfully applied for the VAPG program in previous years and we want to encourage more producers to develop their value-added ideas and submit a grant proposal,” explains Hal Pepper, a financial analysis specialist with University of Tennessee’s Center for Profitable Agriculture.

This workshop will teach producers about developing a business plan and identifying what’s needed to have a successful value-added enterprise. Participants will learn how to get started in the grant application process by requesting a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and registering on the System for Award Management (SAM) website.

Email newsletter signup

Presenters will explain how to complete the application and how proposals are reviewed and scored. Pepper says VAPG grant and matching funds may be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product.

Producers who have previously received a VAPG will share their experiences and prospective VAPG applicants will have an opportunity to discuss their ideas with presenters.

Register for the Developing Value-Added Agriculture Businesses workshop online at tiny.utk.edu/VAPG2020.

Workshops will be held:

• January 28 in Memphis;

• January 29 in Clarksville;

• January 30 in New Market;

Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and end by 4 p.m. local time. Check-in and networking will be from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided. Directions and other details will be emailed to registered participants a few days prior to each workshop. The registration fee is $20 per person. Pre-registration is required 5 business days in advance of the workshop date. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register early.

More information about the workshop is available at the CPA website: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa. Contact Pepper at 931-496-2777 or email hal.pepper@utk.edu with questions. Or, Call Tom Rison at the Claiborne County Extension Office at 423-626-3742.