According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, "in 2010, nearly 6.9 million tons of grapes were grown commercially in the United States." Grapes are a large industry that, like other commodities, may need funding. There are various grants for grapes that award those involved in aspects of grape growing and wine making. These include grants for grape-growing farmers and grants for wholesalers who purchase and sell cases of wine to retailers.
Wine Grape Investment Grant Program
Funded by the Wine Industry Development Fund, the Texas Department of Agriculture (agr.state.tx.us) has created the Wine Grape Investment Grant Program to aid farmers and other grape growers in expanding the number of acres used in wine grape production. Each grant totals up to $25,000 per prospective winner, and may be used on such things as trellis systems, fertilizer, irrigation installation and rootstock. As of 2011, eligible applicants must be residents of Texas, in the business of growing wine grapes and must possess at least five new acres of land toward which they are to use the grant's funds.
Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program
The Ohio Grape Industries Committee (tasteohiowines.com) offers grape-growing grants through the Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program using funds secured through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. As of 2011, eligible applicants must be Ohio farmers who can apply for up to $2,000 per acre. Grape hobbyists are not eligible. The maximum amount of acres that can be awarded per grant is three.
The Grape and Wine Marketing Program
As of 2011, the Grape and Wine Marketing Program, run by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (kyagr.com), offers two grape grants: The Wholesaler Reimbursement Grant and the Winery Marketing Cost-Share Grant. The Wholesaler Reimbursement Grant awards up to $12 per case of wine to state wholesalers who choose to stock and sell Kentucky wines. The Winery Marketing Cost-Share Grant aids Kentucky wineries with up to 50 percent of costs related to marketing and promotional efforts. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture also offers Specialty Crop grant funds that can be used toward the farming of table grapes.
Growing Grapes for Wine Program
To help farmers purchase wine grape vines, which can be expensive depending on the type, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (smadc.com) offers grants through the Growing Grapes for Wine Program. As of 2011, eligible applicants must own or co-own at least five acres of Maryland land that is in agricultural use but may not necessarily be currently used for grape growing. Past winners of the grant are eligible to reapply. Farms must also have "suitable soils that have already been tested for nematodes" in order to qualify.
- Texas Department of Agriculture: Wine Grape Investment Grant Program
- Ohio's Country Journal: Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program to Provide Funding to Ohio Grape Producers
- Kentucky Department of Agriculture: Available Grants
- Kentucky Department of Agriculture: Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
- Agriculture Marketing Resource Center: Grapes
Crystal Vogt has been an editor and freelance writer since 2005 and has had her work mentioned on MediaBistro, Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money, among other outlets. She received her M.S. in journalism from Boston University and holds a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara.