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USDA/RBS RIN: 0570-AA79 Publication ID: Fall 2010 
Title: ●Value-Added Producer Grant Program 
Abstract: The Agency proposes to modify 7 CFR part 4284, subpart J, to include the definitions for mid-tier value chain and value-added agricultural product to include an agricultural commodity or product that is aggregated and marketed as a locally produced agricultural food product. Additionally, the proposed rule will expand the grant term not to exceed 3 years; implement a simplified application process for project proposals less than $50,000; provide for priority to projects that increase opportunities for beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and operators of small- and medium sized farms and ranches that are structured as a family farm; and implement a reservation of funds for projects to benefit beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and mid-tier value chains. The Agency is also proposing to amend 7 CFR part 1951, subpart E, to allow the delegation of the servicing of the program to USDA State Office personnel. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 1951, subpart E; 7 CFR 4284, subpart J (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.
Legal Authority: PL 110-246 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The modifications to the Value Added Producer Grant program will streamline program regulations resulting in better quality applications. It is expected that all of the changes will result in time and resource savings to the applicant and the Agency. Publication of the final rule is crucial to program implementation. The program will directly create new businesses, assist with the expansion of existing businesses, create jobs, increase the flow of tax dollars to rural communities, and add lasting value in terms of rural community impact.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The program was authorized by the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000, section 231 (Pub. L. 106-224). The purpose of the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program is to help eligible independent producers of agricultural commodities, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and majority-owned, producer-based business ventures develop business plans for viable marketing opportunities and develop strategies to create marketing opportunities.

Alternatives: An alternative is to continue under the interim rule. The interim rule is scheduled to be published and remain in effect until a final rule is adopted. A notice announcing FY 2010 funding will be published after the interim rule. FY 2010 funding will be expendable in FY 2011.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Costs: The anticipated costs associated with this process are contract services. An exact dollar amount cannot be determined at this time, but it will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. No change in FTE needs is anticipated. Minimal automation changes are anticipated. Benefits: The intended action is to fine tune the program regulations, making them easier to use for the public and Agency staff, while incorporate changes designed to reduce the cost to the Government and the subsidy rate.

Risks: Program risks include risk of loss in the loans guaranteed under this program. We anticipate mitigating these risks with improved regulatory and administrative guidance and appropriate training.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  05/28/2010  75 FR 29920 
NPRM Comment Period End  06/28/2010   
Interim Final Rule  12/00/2010   
Interim Final Rule Effective  01/00/2011   
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  02/00/2011   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Jermolowicz Andrew
Assistant Deputy Administrator
Department of Agriculture
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
STOP 3250, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-3250
Phone:202 720-8460
Fax:202 720-4641
Email: andrew.jermolowicz@wdc.usda.gov

 
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