Funding opportunities

Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant Program

The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin competitive grant program is designed to strengthen Wisconsin's agricultural and food industries by working to reduce the marketing, distribution, and processing hurdles that impede the expansion of sales of Wisconsin's food products to local purchasers. A total of $200,000 is available in grant funding each year through the program; the maximum award for each project is $50,000, and grant applicants must provide a cash or in-kind match of at least 50% of the total project budget. Generally, qualified applicants include individuals, groups or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments, or agricultural tourism operations. Applications will be accepted until March 20, 2019.


California Environmental Justice Small Grants

The California Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Small Grants Program offers funding up to $50,000 to assist eligible non-profit community organizations and federally recognized Tribal governments address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that are based in communities with the most significant exposure to pollution. Program priorities are listed online and include reducing the potential for exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals. Applications are due by March 21, 2019.


Field Tested Mini-Grants

Community Food and Agriculture Coalition is accepting proposals from beginning Montana specialty-crop producers for grants up to $5,000. CFAC's Mini-Grant program aims to grow and diversify the pool of farmers participating in Montana's Specialty Crop industry. It helps remove hurdles for new farmers by allowing them to start and expand farming ventures. Mini-Grant funding must be used to increase the competitiveness of Montana Specialty Crops, which are defined as fruits, vegetables, culinary or medicinal herbs or spices and nursery, horticulture, or horticulture crops. Applications are due by March 22, 2019.


Oklahoma Specialty Crop Block Grant

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry is accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Projects will be evaluated on how well they enhance the competitiveness of Oklahoma's specialty crops, soundness and quality of the project plan, measurable outcomes, and return on investment. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 are offered for projects up to two years in duration. Matching funds of 20% of the total project budget are required. Proposals are due by March 25, 2019.


Arizona Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

State and/or local organizations, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grants in Arizona. Projects must enhance specialty crop industry competitiveness. Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Applications are due by March 27, 2019.


Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Program

The Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Program (RIAgEP) is a competitive grant program that funds agricultural energy projects in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to facilitate the adoption of alternative clean energy technologies by Rhode Island farms. RIAgEP grants will fund projects up to $20,000 that fall into either the renewable-energy category or the energy-efficiency category. All farm-related energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects that meet the program requirements will be considered, although priority will be given to proposals that focus on the technologies listed in the application. Applications are due by March 29, 2019.


Wyoming Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Wyoming Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. An estimated $350,000 is available to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Wyoming. Grants up to $24,500 are available for one- to two-year projects, and grants up to $50,000 for two- to three-year projects. State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community based nonprofit organizations, producers and processors, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply. Applications are due by March 29, 2019.


Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of Maryland specialty crops. Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations involved in Maryland agriculture. Applicants must have the support of a specific specialty crop organization or group with at least three specialty crop producers. Funding priorities are food safety compliance, market enhancement, and research. Applications are due by March 29, 2019.


Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship Endowment Fund

The Rochester Area Foundation in Minnesota is home of the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides financial aid to individuals committed to sustainability in the fields of agriculture and forestry. Eligible scholarship recipients must come from one of the 11 Southeast Counties of the State of Minnesota and attend educational public or non-profit private institutions/programs in the five-state area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Applications are due by March 30, 2019.


RESEED Recovery Fund

The RESEED Recovery Fund provides affordable loans to farmers in North Carolina and South Carolina who were affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Loans range from $2,500 to $10,000 and can be used for operating loans for 2019 crops, repairs to damaged infrastructure/equipment, replacement of damaged/lost plants or livestock, bridge loans for future (documented) insurance payments or grants, or investments that increase the enterprise's financial self-sufficiency and resiliency. NCIFund will be accepting RESEED applications on a first-come first-serve basis until March 31, 2019.


Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership TIE Grants

Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) offers Technology, Innovation, and Excellence (TIE) grants to farmers in Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties of Massachusetts. The program encourages local farmers to trial new equipment, implement new farm systems, and address challenges farmers in the region collectively face. The TIE Grant Program is intended to lower the economic barriers to innovation, with grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 depending on the merits of the project. Applications are due March 31, 2019.


Tennessee Agricultural Enterprise Fund

Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund will award grants to starting or expanding agricultural, food, and forestry businesses; farmers, nonprofits, local governments, and other entities in Tennessee, or those whose project will be located in Tennessee. Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation. Priority will be given to businesses located in at-risk counties, distressed counties, and adjoining counties. Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The next application deadline is April 1, 2019.


UC Santa Cruz Multicultural Scholars Program for Agroecology

Funded through USDA's Multicultural Scholars Program, the UC Santa Cruz scholarship program for incoming students interested in agroecology, sustainable food systems, and food justice seeks to build a more inclusive and equitable food system and academic community in agroecology. To qualify, students must be accepted to start at UC Santa Cruz in Fall 2019 as a transfer or first-year student, and intend to declare a major in Environmental Studies or a related field. Students must have an interest in agroecology, food systems, or food justice, be a member of a historically under-represented group in academia, and be a U.S. citizen. Support includes $6,500 in funding a year for four years (or two years for transfer students), as well as assistance with books, leadership skills, and faculty advising. Each student will also receive a $4,000 stipend to support a summer internship between the junior and senior years. The application deadline is April 1, 2019.


NCR-SARE Professional Development Program

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) is accepting proposals for its Professional Development Program. This program provides funds for professional development projects that provide sustainable agriculture training to agricultural professionals and educators in the Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, other governmental agencies, and educators in the profit and non-profit sector serving the food and fiber system. Projects can be up to three years in duration, and funding level is capped at $90,000 for each project, but projects requesting less than full amount are encouraged. A total of approximately $900,000 will be available. Proposals are due by April 3, 2019.


California Dairy Digester Research and Development Program

The California Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters on commercial dairy operations in California. The DDRDP Incentives Program will award grants to provide financial assistance to commercial milk producers and dairy digester developers for implementation of anaerobic digesters that reduce methane emissions from dairy manure management. Meanwhile, DDRDP Demonstration Projects will award dairy operations and digester developers for the implementation of dairy digester projects that demonstrate innovative technologies to achieve long-term methane emission reductions on California dairies and minimize or mitigate adverse environmental impacts. Applications are due on April 3, 2019.


California Alternative Manure Management Program

California's Alternative Manure Management Program provides financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters on commercial dairy operations in California. It includes an Incentives Program that awards competitive grants to California dairy and livestock operations for specific management practices that result in long-term methane emission reductions and maximize environmental benefits. It also includes a Demonstration Projects component that funds projects that demonstrate to a wide audience innovation in the implementation of diverse manure management practices that reduce methane emissions and maximize environmental co-benefits on California dairy and livestock operations. Applications are due by April 3, 2019.


Minor Crop Pest Management Program Interregional Research Project #4 (IR-4)

The IR-4 program administered by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides the assistance needed to ensure that new and more effective crop protection products are developed and made available to minor/specialty crop producers. Applications may only be submitted by State agricultural experiment stations, land-grant colleges and universities, research foundations, and schools of veterinary medicine. NIFA anticipates funding five projects: one to establish a national headquarters and four to establish geographically-based regional IR-4 centers. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2019 is approximately $11 million. Applications are due by April 3, 2019.


Delaware Conservation Partnership Projects

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Delaware is seeking proposals for collaborative conservation grants to help address Delaware's most pressing natural resource concerns. Up to $500,000 in grants will be made available statewide. NRCS will select proposals that leverage USDA and partner resources to effectively implement projects. Project priorities are listed online. Proposals are due by April 5, 2019.


Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program. FBMB provides grants up to $500,000 to improve farm management knowledge and skills of individuals directly involved in production agriculture. Specifically, this involves maintaining and expanding the farm financial management database and expanding farm management and producer association partnerships with the database, as well as funding projects that demonstrate data collection, sharing, improving information access, or improving producers' abilities to successfully manage their agricultural operations through periods of high risk, volatility, and financial stress. Applications are due by April 9, 2019.


Texas Young Farmer Grant Program

Texas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Texas Young Farmer Grant Program, which offers dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds to young agricultural producers that are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding an agricultural business in Texas. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 46, and they must be engaged in creating or expanding agriculture in Texas, not merely maintaining an existing operation. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $20,000 and may not be used toward capital purchases. Applications are due by April 10, 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.


Utah Specialty Crop Block Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture is accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant proposals for projects designed to increase production and availability of fruits and vegetables and other specialty crops in Utah. Approximately $330,000 in federal funding is expected to be available in Utah. Individual producers, producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia, and other specialty-crops stakeholders are eligible to apply. Applications are due by April 12, 2019.


Hawaii Food Safety Certification Cost Reimbursement Grants

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to help Hawaii farmers and ranchers with the cost of bringing their operations in compliance with state and federal food safety regulations aimed at preventing foodborne illnesses. A total of $475,000 is available to help local food producers comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other state food safety requirements. Hawaii farmers and ranchers may apply for reimbursement of costs up to $5,000. Funding will be distributed on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of applicants and reimbursements costs submitted. The application deadline is April 15, 2019.


Missouri Conservation Partners Grants

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri is offering $800,000 in grants for partners promoting public awareness and implementation of Farm Bill conservation activities. NRCS is looking for partners who can help inform farmers, ranchers, and specialty crop growers about NRCS programs. Areas of emphasis for the grants include outreach workshops and conferences; technical workshops and field days focused on soil health strategies or native plant community adoption; organic and specialty crop workshops; water quality improvement and drainage water; technical assistance implementation; and enhancement of climate data tools. Proposals are due by April 15, 2019.


Northeast SARE Partnership Grant Program

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program is accepting applications for its Partnership Grant Program. The grant program funds projects conducted by researchers, educators, nonprofit staff, and other agricultural service providers working in direct partnership with farmers. Fundable projects seek innovative solutions to current challenges to the health of Northeast agriculture or strengthen working partnerships between farmers and agricultural service providers to advance sustainable agriculture. Projects must be conducted in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C. or West Virginia. The grants are capped at $30,000. Applications are due by April 23, 2019.


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