Webinar: Business Assistance Resources for Virginia Beginning Farmers and Ag Entrepreneurs, 2013 Presenter: Mr. Stephen Versen from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Summary: Politicians love small businesses; they also love farmers. As a result, farmers and entrepreneurs in Ag-based businesses enjoy a bigger suite of government assistance programs than just about any other group. However, there is also a lot of confusion about what really is available: reasonable loans to beginning farmers (yes), grants to raise alpacas (no). To help sort all this out, Stephen Versen, a Project Manager in the Agriculture and Forestry Development Services unit at VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), will be discussing some of the most useful state and federal programs and answering your questions about accessing them. Major topics discussed are USDA loan and grant programs, as well as assistance available through the Commonwealth of Virginia, including: the Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest programs and the new Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID). You can find this webinar achieved at the following web address: http://www.vabeginningfarmer.aee.vt.edu/webinar/Archive/webinar-archive.html This webinar series is presented by TheVirginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project. The project is sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).