Counties eligible for grants to support agriculture and forestry economic development

October 3, 2017

The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID) Facilities Grant program provides incentives for agriculture or forestry processing businesses to expand or locate in Virginia. In addition, the AFID Planning Grant program offers matching funds to support Virginia localities’ planning initiatives for agriculture and forestry economic development and job-creation. Both programs are available to support county efforts that will have significant and lasting positive impact on the local agriculture and/or forestry sector.

AFID Facilities Grants support localities efforts to attract new and expanding facilities that add value to Virginia-grown agriculture or forestry products. By providing the funding critical to these projects’ success, the state is helping these businesses create new markets for the products of Virginia’s working lands and new opportunities for those who derive value from them. Facilities Grant awards are based on a return-on-investment calculation. Awards are capped at $500,000 which must be matched by a locality in case or in-kind contributions, like tax rebates. AFID Facilities grants have supported an array of value-added facilities, such as meat and dairy processing greenhouses, sawmills, and food and beverage manufacturing.

AFID Planning Grants have funded feasibility studies for meat processing, timber transportation and produce handling facilities. Eligible projects include planning documents, economic development studies, community resources, or local initiatives to help farm and forestry businesses. The program provides dollar-for-dollar matching funds for a locality’s project up to $20,000, or up to $35,000 for a multi-jurisdictional project. Contributions in-kind, such as staff time, are eligible for up to half of the local match required.

There is no deadline to apply as applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information go to http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/agribusiness or contact Cassidy Rasnick, afid@vdacs.virginia.gov, 804.225.4535.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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