In 2001, Congress passed legislation authorizing, and later appropriating funding for the Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program. The objective of this thesis is to update a previous study of this program by Boland, Crespi and Oswald (2009) who used data through 2005. This paper follows that work on VAPG key success factors and likelihoods of success by updating the data through 2012. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division awarded $223,167,601 from 2002 through 2012 to qualified applicants of value-added agricultural products. The findings of this thesis showed that the dollar amount of the grant size had significant impacts on a VAPG recipient being successful or reaching step nine of the nine step business process. In addition, commodities such as corn, edible beans, fruit, small grains, sugar, wheat, wine, wind, and poultry were significant. Both Independent and Agricultural Producer Group organizations were found to have significant impacts on successfully reaching success. The newest addition to the VAPG programs allotments, Mid-Tier Value Chains, showed to have a positive and significant relationship to a producer obtaining the ninth step versus the standard differentiated producer. The program has allowed many producers to test the waters through educational promotions of locally grown, differentiated and segregated products. Greater success was found for recipients who were already producing a value-added product rather than starting from “scratch.”


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