If you have questions or comments please contact:

Cie'na Schlaefli, Program Manager
Phone: (520) 449-3154
E-mail: cschlaefli@sanxaviercoop.org

Social Disadvantage Producer Grant (SDPG)

The Social Disadvantage Producer Grant (SDPG) program is another competitive grant program administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of USDA. This program provides technical assistance to small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas.

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The maximum award amount per grant is $200,000. Grants are available for Cooperative Development Centers, individual Cooperatives, or Groups of Cooperatives that serve Small Socially-
Disadvantaged Producers and where a majority of the boards of directors or governing board is comprised of members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

In 2014, San Xavier Cooperative Association (SXCA) awarded a Social Disadvantage Producer Grant from USDA.  The objectives of the program are:

  1. Assess and understand the needs of Small Socially Disadvantage (SDA) producers in Arizona
  2. Assist Small, SDA producers in owning and operating successful farming and ranching business
  3. Introduce agricultural-related technologies to Small, SDA producers through outreaching and technology demonstration.
  4. Connect SDA producers with distribution channels and end markets, enabling Small, SDA producers’ business operation
  5. Improve the Small, SDA Producers’ awareness of USDA financial assistance programs
  6. Increase the participation of Small SDA producers in the USDA programs offered by Rural Development (RD) and other USDA agencies.



    USDA Financial Assistance Programs

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 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program is a competitive grant program administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of USDA that provides funding to farmers and groups of farmers to create or develop value-added producer-owned businesses. These enterprises help increase farm income and marketing opportunities, create new jobs, contribute to community economic development, and enhance food choices for consumers.

The VAPG Program could help with planning or implementation of value added projects. Planning grants are used to evaluate the projects in terms of viability and economic feasibility. Implementation grants will fund working capital activities, as well as operational and maintenance costs (O&M) related to the processing and/or marketing of valued‐added agricultural products up to 50%.
In 2014, San Xavier Cooperative Association (SXCA) received a Value-added Producer Grant from USDA Rural Development to study the feasibility of developing a milling, cold storage, and ancillary facilities to produce heritage wheat flour and other value added products.  The goal of this value added program is to scale up the traditional agricultural operations, increase local food production, and develop value-added processing facilities to improve the economic viability of the food production at the Farm.
This program proposes to develop a facility including a post-harvest processing, a cold storage, and a grain storage to add value, reduce post-harvesting food waste, aggregate, and sell agricultural products faster and for a better price. More specifically, this project will:

  1. Establish a Flour Milling Facility (to process/produce different types of wheat flours.)
  2. Build a Cold Storage and a Grain Storage Facility (to aggregate/store locally grown grains, fruits/vegetables, and value-added products year round)

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This year, 2015, SXCA awarded a Value-added Producer Grant for the implementation of the three structures mentioned above (Flour Milling, Cold Storage, and Grain Storage Facilities). The Farm will receive 50% of the working capital costs of the project during the first three years of implementation.