Funding opportunities

Minnesota AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced $250,000 in grant funding for urban youth agricultural education or urban agriculture community development. The Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Urban Agriculture Grant program is available to for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, Native American tribal communities, and local government entities. Applicants may request a maximum of $50,000 per project. Applications are due January 17, 2019.


Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant

Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant. For-profit and non-profit grocery stores and small food retailers, such as a corner store, a convenience store, a farmers market, a mobile food market, or a retail food outlet operated by an emergency food program or food hub can apply for grants to make physical improvements and purchase equipment to stimulate sales of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. GFAP funding can be used to purchase equipment (such as coolers and freezers) and to make physical improvements. Projects must serve census-designated Food Deserts, or low- or moderate-income areas that have substantial subpopulations (such as the elderly or disabled) who have low supermarket access. Grants range from $2,500 to $50,000. Applications are due by January 17, 2019.


Farm Fund Grant Program and Next Step Grant Program

Community Food Co-op's Farm Fund Grant Program is designed to support multi-farm collaborations and projects that strengthen local, sustainable agriculture at large in Whatcom and Skagit counties of Washington state. Meanwhile, the Next Step Grant program is designed to support local farmers who want to expand their business to supply wholesale markets in Whatcom County. Next Step accepts proposals for grants of $1,250 to $5,000 in combination with low-interest loans up to $12,000. The Next Step ratio of grant funds to loan funds is 1:4. Applications for both programs are due by January 18, 2019.


Kaiser Conservation Endowment

Washington State University is soliciting Kaiser Conservation Endowment proposals for promotion and demonstration of conservation practices targeting soil erosion. Proposals are sought on the training of college and K-12 students and constituents, including curriculum development, field trips, teaching aids, audio/visual or other educational-related activities. Funds are open to Washington State University, University of Idaho, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, and colleges in Washington and Idaho. However, proposals must have a strong linkage to WSU, the University of Idaho, Conservation Districts, and/or NRCS. Funds are limited to the Inland Empire and proposals are not to exceed $5,000. Proposals are due January 23, 2019.


New York State New Farmers Grant Fund

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund provides grants to support beginning farmers who have chosen farming as a career and who materially and substantially participate in the production of an agricultural product on their farm. The grant fund will help farmers improve farm profitability through one or both of the following goals: expanding agricultural production, diversifying agricultural production, and/or extending the agricultural season; and/or advancing innovative techniques that increase sustainable agricultural production practices, such as organic farming, food safety, reduction of farm waste, and/or water use. Grants may provide a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for up to 50% of total project costs. New York State farmers in their first 10 years of farming and with a minimum of $10,000 in farm income may apply. Applications must be postmarked by January 25, 2019.


North Dakota Specialty Crop Season Extension Grants

North Dakota Department of Agriculture has announced that $50,000 is available to help North Dakota schools and communities research extending the season for fruit and vegetable production through the use of high tunnels. Schools and communities are eligible to apply for competitive grants up to $10,000 that include a yield trial to compare growing specialty crops with and without season extension. The grant would include the construction of a 30' x 48' high tunnel and the winning applicant will need to have sufficient space not only for the structure, but the same size growing space outside. The application deadline is January 25, 2019.


Arkansas Conservation Partners

USDA-NRCS Arkansas State Office is seeking support from and opportunities to partner with likeminded natural resource conservation partners to assist producers to plan and/or implement conservation practices throughout Arkansas. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2019 will be approximately $5 million. Proposals are requested from eligible entities, nonprofits, governmental or nongovernmental organizations, and institutions of higher learning for competitive consideration of awards from projects between one and five years in duration. Objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions are available online. Proposals are due by January 30, 2019.


Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grants

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has announced that approximately $60,000 in funding provided through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Castanea Foundation, LLC will be available in the third round of the Produce Safety Improvement Grant. Because of the federal funding source, this round will focus on safety improvements that include materials, supplies, and labor but cannot fund construction or construction supplies. Eligible projects include harvest, wash, pack, and storage materials and supplies, as well as storage monitoring/control devices; health and hygiene projects such as handwashing stations, cleaning/sanitization tools, signage, compost/manure handling improvements; and training and record-keeping materials and systems. Applications are due by January 31, 2019.


California Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is accepting concept proposals for the 2019 grant cycle. FREP's competitive grant program funds research that advances the agronomic and environmental performance of fertilizing materials. This year's priorities include the following: technical education, demonstrating and/or validating management practices that optimize nutrient and irrigation management, addressing barriers to adoption of management practices, filling knowledge gaps in nitrogen management for specific crops, performing research on the role of organic input materials in soil nutrient management, and investigating and understanding mitigation strategies for nitrogen loss. Concept proposals are due by January 31, 2019.


Vermont Local Food Market Development Grants

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) announces the availability of matching grant funds for the Vermont Local Food Market Development Grant Program. The purpose of this grant is to foster Vermont producers' access to wholesale markets and to increase the quantity of local food available in Vermont institutions and other Vermont wholesale markets by addressing barriers in the supply chain. This program encourages local food wholesale market development opportunities with an institutional focus across the state. VAAFM is now accepting project proposals for matching grants of $2,000 up to $5,000 from Vermont farmers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators to further institutional and other in-state wholesale market development in Vermont. Applications must be submitted by January 31, 2019.


Herb Society of America Research Grant

Herb Society of America offers a $5,000 grant for the research of the horticultural, scientific, and/or social use of herbs throughout history. Research must define the herb as historically useful for flavoring, medicine, ornament, economic, industrial, or cosmetic purposes. Eligible applicants may be students, professionals, or individuals. This grant is intended to support small, self-contained research projects over a short period of time. Applications are due January 31, 2019.


Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Oregon Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for project ideas as part of US Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for 2019. Approximately $1.5 million is expected to be available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, nonprofits, for profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. Funding priorities for 2019 are listed online. Proposals are due January 31, 2019.


New York City Watershed Agricultural Council Micro-Grants

The New York City Watershed Agricultural Council is offering micro-grants to encourage the implementation of activities that can enhance the economic viability of farm and forest businesses. Any farmer, logger, forester, forest landowner, or Pure Catskills member with property inside the New York City Watershed is eligible to apply for a maximum of $5,000. Program categories are training reimbursement, marketing reimbursement, mileage reimbursement (for extending market reach), and loggers workers compensation reimbursement. Applications for the next round of funding are due by January 31, 2019.


Lakewinds Organic Field Fund

Lakewinds Organic Field Fund is a grant program dedicated to making a bigger impact on local farming and organic food by furthering the development and sustainability of farms in the Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin region. Funding is available for the following types of project proposals: Organic certification, transitioning a conventional farm to organic, any type of project that helps a farm scale its offerings, or any type of project that helps a farm improve efficiency or effectiveness. LOFF will not fund a project for more than $8,000 per year. The application deadline is February 1, 2019.


Colorado Specialty Crop Block Grant

Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting concept papers for approximately $550,000 in funding to enhance the competitiveness of Colorado specialty crops. There is a two-step application process. A concept paper is required for the first round. Proposals advancing after the first round will be part of Colorado's submission to USDA for 2019 and will need to complete a full proposal package. Concept papers are due by February 1, 2019.


Kentucky Small-Scale Farm Grant

The Kentucky State University Center for the Sustainability of Farms and Families (KSU-CSFF) Small Scale Farm Grant Program was developed to support the expansion of certain types of agriculture in Kentucky, especially among underserved groups. Grant funding decisions are based upon the future impact expected on the production and sales of Kentucky-grown and Kentucky-raised farm products. Approved funding per application will not exceed $5,000 for individuals and $15,000 for organizations that benefit multiple Kentucky farms and/or producers. Kentucky farms with gross annual agricultural sales greater than $1,000 and below $250,000 are eligible to apply. The next application deadline is February 1, 2019.


Healthy Watersheds Consortium

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities seeks applications for the 2019 Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. This program is a partnership that includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water?s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Endowment. Up to $1.2 million is available for the 2019 grant round. The goal of the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. The primary focus for applicants should be protection and stewardship of land in the watershed, not restoration of degraded habitats or projects with a strictly water-quality improvement outcome. Proposals are due by February 4, 2019.


Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant

Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for an estimated $1.5 million in federal funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. This competitive grant program is designed to expand markets for Montana specialty crops. Eligible projects include education, marketing, improving distribution systems, development of good agricultural practices, pest and disease control, variety development, and improving production practices. State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Proposals are due February 6, 2019.


Vermont Dairy Improvement Grants Final Round

With grant funds donated by Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy, the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program provides grants of up to $40,000 on a competitive basis to Vermont dairy farm members of St. Albans Cooperative Creamery and Dairy Farmers of America to make on-farm improvements that have a positive impact on farm viability, milk production, or milk quality. This grant program is a partnership between the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, Commonwealth Dairy, the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Dairy Farmers of America, Housing Vermont, and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. The application deadline listed below is the final opportunity to access funding through this program; no further rounds of Dairy Improvement Grants are expected. Applications are due February 6, 2019.


Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grants

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grants from nonprofit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural groups. DATCP seeks applicants that will enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin's specialty crop industries in domestic and foreign markets. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education, or market development. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds are to be used to benefit the entire specialty crop industry as a whole and not provide direct profit to a specific organization, institution, or individual. Applications are due by February 15, 2019.


Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Demonstration Project Grants

Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) is accepting applications for matching grants for demonstration projects on some aspect of private grazing lands improvement and/or management. Applications will be accepted from groups of individuals, non-governmental organizations, state or local units of government. For 2019, special consideration will be given to demonstration projects which are innovative and address one of the following topics: grazing management, soil/rangeland health, concentrated animal feeding operations/animal feeding operations; and noxious weeds. The Montana GLCI steering committee places special emphasis on cooperative efforts working with partners. Applications are due February 18, 2019.


National Robotics Initiative: 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots

The NRI-2.0 program supports fundamental research in the United States that will accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots (co-robots) that work beside or cooperatively with people. The program supports four main research thrusts that are envisioned to advance the goal of ubiquitous co-robots: scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact. Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment, and use. The NRI-2.0 program is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation, USDA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Academic institutions and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grant awards ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million. Applications are due by February 19, 2019.


Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grants

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops. The funds can be used for projects involved in promotion, marketing, research, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased knowledge and consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices. Maximum award amount is $100,000 per proposal. Non-profit or for-profit organizations are eligible to apply, as are local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments. Applications are due by February 27, 2019.


International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is calling for award nominations in two categories. The $40,000 Award for Digitalization and Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems recognizes innovations that impact more than one level of supply chain and strengthen the link between farmers and consumers. The $20,000 Award for Innovations that Empower Youth in Agriculture and Food Systems recognizes innovations that strengthen the role of youth (under 35) in agriculture and food systems. The International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture is funded by the Federal Government of Switzerland. It is limited to innovations related to agriculture and pastoral systems only. Nominations are due by February 28, 2019.


New York Advancing Agriculture Energy Technologies Initiative

New York State is making approximately $3 million available through the Advancing Agricultural Energy Technologies initiative to accelerate commercially available technologies and practices to make a farm operation more energy-efficient. Under this initiative, proposals for emerging technologies should be replicable and provide cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to farms in New York State. Eligible technologies and practices include hardware, software, and operational strategies. Selected technologies and practices will be demonstrated on host site farms to increase awareness in the agricultural industry about these processes. Eligible participants include project developers, equipment manufacturers and vendors, animal and/or crop-production farm owners, trade and professional organizations, utilities, and universities and other academic institutions. To be considered, technologies and practices must be considered "emerging." Round 1 applications are due February 28, 2019.


American Lamb Board's Local Lamb Promotional Funding Program

The American Lamb Board's Local Lamb Promotional Funding program is designed to expand ALB's efforts to promote American Lamb throughout the country. The program provides funds to state and local lamb organizations to support activities and programs that promote American Lamb at the local level to consumers, media, chefs, and/or retailers. Applications are due February 28, 2019.


Minnesota Specialty Crop Block Grants

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture encourages non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural groups to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grants for projects that will increase the competitiveness of Minnesota-grown specialty crops in domestic and foreign markets. For-profit entities, farms, and other businesses who want to develop sector-wide research and development projects are also eligible. Each project must demonstrate external support from specialty crop stakeholders and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or public beneficiaries. Grants of $10,000 to $100,000 are available for projects that can last up to two-and-a-half years. Applications are due by March 7, 2019.


New York Anaerobic Digester Grants

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) is offering $16 million to accelerate the anaerobic digester sector. Anaerobic digester systems can be used on farms, waste water treatment plants, and as stand-alone systems to treat food wastes. Of the $16 million, nearly half is for proposals to install new anaerobic digester systems in ways that demonstrate replicable business models or strategies to expand the anaerobic digestor marketplace. The remaining funds will be used to cost-share the refurbishment of existing digesters and associated equipment to extend their useful lifespans as well as for projects that will improve the capabilities of the anaerobic digestion marketplace. Applications are due by March 7, 2019.


Pennsylvania Small Business Advantage Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for $1 million of grant funding available to Pennsylvania farmers and small business for pollution-prevention, energy-efficiency, and natural resource-protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grants. For the first time, grants will be available to farmers and ranchers for projects that reduce and prevent pollution on working lands. Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25% annually in energy consumption, or pollution-related expenses. Businesses can apply for 50% matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first.


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