USDA Funding Wineries to Market and Sell Alcohol

September 16, 2014

This year, 28 wineries in 20 states will cash in on $3,281,928 in Federal Farm Bill subsidies in the form of Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) to market and sell alcohol, turning wine barrels into pork barrels. According to USDA rules, wineries may receive up to $200,000 each in VAPG grants for activities that add value to their products. One New York winery is using their VAPG subsidy to launch a farmers market where it will sell its wine (Alcohol Justice has cited numerous public health and safety concerns associated with alcohol sales at farmers markets in our opposition to 2014 California legislation).

The end goals of the grants are "generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income." Considering the $94 billion in direct economic harm to government caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year, the federal government should not be in the business of promoting alcohol availability and consumption or increasing the damage to public health and safety.