The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program (NCVACS) complements the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) by offsetting the costs to N.C. value-added producers for professional services related to the VAPG application process and equipment purchases. A new component of the program, added in August 2010 provides equipment cost share to value-added processors.

The professional services supplemented by NCVACS are 1) VAPG grant writing and 2) enterprise feasibility assessment. These supplemental funds and additional matching funds are available to producers who are also planning to apply for a VAPG. Equipment purchases, which cannot be funded by a VAPG, are also eligible for funding. There is equipment cost share funding available for value-added producers and processors.

NCVACS is funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center through the Family Farm Innovation Fund. NCVACS is administered by N.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. MarketReady Program at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

Learn more about the VAPG and NCVACS Program

  • What is NCVACS?
    • NCVACS Overview Presentation (PDF)
    • FAQs for NCVACS – Grant Writing and Feasibility Study
    • FAQs for NCVACS – EquipmentRefer to the Frequently Asked Questions for answers about the North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share program. If you need further clarification, contact Brittany Whitmire, program coordinator, at 919-830-9557 or
    • Timeline of Events (PDF)
      There are four grant cycles for the NCVACS program. Refer to this comprehensive timeline for deadlines and upcoming program components. The timeline will be updated as needed.
    • Successful NCVACS applicants: Nine value-added producers in North Carolina were award recipients of the first cycle of the NCVACS program, announced in December 2009. Read more about the cost share recipients, their enterprises and their plans for future growth.
  • What is VAPG?
    • FAQs for VAPG
      Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for answers about the USDA VAPG. If you need further clarification, contact Neal Sherrod, business programs specialist, at 919-873-2043 or
    • Successful VAPG projects
      The USDA has awarded almost 950 grants since the beginning of the VAPG program. This Website features a few examples of successful projects from around the country.
    • Notice of Funds Availability
      Notices from the federal government are published in the Federal Register. This Department of Agriculture notice will include guidance on new program components, application deadlines and contact information for the VAPG.

Additional resources

  • Value-Added Funding Opportunities
    This webinar covers the USDA VAPG and NCVACS qualifications and application process. Led by the North Carolina program coordinators of each program, the information is thorough and includes the most recent updates to these funding cycles. (Recorded March 2010)
  • Oregon Business and Cooperative Programs
    The Oregon office for Rural Development offers several additional resources that may be helpful in understanding the VAPG, including eligibility and additional examples of funded projects
  • University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension—Emerging Agricultural Markets Team
    The resources on this Website include a list of tips and pitfalls related to the application process for the VAPG and a national list of past awards and their project description.

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