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Home  > Funding Opportunites

Funding Opportunities



March 2015



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Permalink State Farm Neighborhood Assist® Program

State Farm is accepting nominations for Neighborhood Assist, a contest that will award 40 communities a $25,000 grant that they will use to help make their hometowns a better place to live. Causes can be nominated through March 29 by anyone in the United States using Facebook. The State Farm Youth Advisory Board will then narrow down the field, using a scoring rubric to identify the top 200 submissions. The public will then have a chance to vote up to 10 times a day on Facebook from May 14 – June 3 for their favorite causes. The 40 causes that receive the most votes will win a $25,000 grant.
Nominations are due by March 29, 2015.

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Permalink Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems Graduate Student Summer Mini-Grant Program

The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) invites graduate student applications for our 2015 summer mini-grant program, which is made possible through a generous donation from the Single Step Foundation. These awards will provide up to $2,000 for graduate student research to be completed by August 30. The 2015 priority areas are perennial agriculture; climate change, agriculture, and food systems; and local and regional food systems. Special priority will be given to projects that utilize the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials (WICST) research plots and data.
Applications are due by March 30, 2015.

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Permalink Specialty Crop Research Initiative

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Specialty Crop Research Initiative is awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics; Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing); new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops. Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations, foundations, or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.
Pre-applications must be received by March 30, 2015.

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Permalink MOFGA Organic Farmer Loan Fund

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association's Organic Farmer Loan Fund is intended particularly to help organic farmers working on establishing a credit history for their farms. Loans, generally in amounts of $5,000 to $20,000, may be used for working capital or farm equipment, and will be available to MOFGA-certified organic farmers; farmers transitioning to organic production; and current participants and graduates of MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program.
Applications are due by March 31, 2015.

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Permalink Rhode Island Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announces that $150,000 in farm viability grant funding is available for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Rhode Island. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 with no direct match required. Funds may be used for research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health, product development, education, "buy local" initiatives, and for programs that provide for increased consumption and innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, and development of cooperatives.
Grant applications must be submitted by March 31, 2015.

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Permalink Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education or market development. Non-profits, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural organizations are encouraged to apply. Typical projects are awarded between $10,000 and $150,000.
Applications are due by March 31, 2015.

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Permalink Arizona Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Arizona Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. State and/or local organizations, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply.
Applications are due April 1, 2015.

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Permalink Virginia Specialty Crop Block Grants

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is accepting applications for federal grants benefitting specialty crops. Agricultural associations, industry groups, community-based organizations, and producer groups that seek to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Virginia are eligible to submit proposals for grants up to $60,000 per project. VDACS anticipates administering nearly $565,000 in funds for the development of specialty crop projects. Specialty crop competitive grant proposals must be specific and explain how an association, industry group or organization will use the funds to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Some examples include research, promotion and marketing plans, as well as food safety projects and projects that improve food access.
Applications are due by April 2, 2015.

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Permalink Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Food Security Challenge Area

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has issued a request for applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Challenge Area. AFRI is a competitive grant program to provide funding for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension projects in food and agricultural sciences. The goal of this program is to invest in agricultural production research, education, and extension programs for more sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems. The amount anticipated to be available for support of this program in FY 2015 is approximately $16.8 million. Eligible applicants for research grants include institutions of higher education, private organizations or corporations, and individuals.
A letter of intent to apply is due by April 2, 2015.

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Permalink AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area Program for FY 2015. The goal of this program is to support research to facilitate the adaptation of agroecosystems and natural resource systems to climate variability and the implementation of mitigation strategies in those systems. Applications are sought in three priority areas: 1) Climate and Microbial Processes in Agroecosystems; 2) Climate Resilient Land Use for Agriculture and Forestry; or 3) Synthesis and Assessment of USDA NIFA’s Climate Investment. Approximately $5 million is available in this program for FY 2015.
A letter of intent to apply is due by April 2, 2015; full applications are due by June 4, 2015.

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Permalink NCR-SARE Professional Development Program

North Central Region SARE’s Professional Development Program (PDP) provides funds for professional development projects that provide sustainable agriculture training to agricultural professionals and educators in the Cooperative Extension Service (CES), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), 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 $75,000. Up to $450,000 of the total pool of funds is available for projects focused on cover crops and soil health.
The deadline for proposals is April 2, 2015.

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Permalink South Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for federal funding for projects that enhance the competitiveness of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops and horticulture. The funds can be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry. Priority areas for funding are marketing and promotion, university research, industry education, and local foods initiatives.
Applications are due by April 4, 2015.

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Permalink New Jersey State Conservation Innovation Grant Program

NRCS is accepting pre-proposals for the 2015 state component of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Projects that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies will be considered for funding for a maximum award of $75,000. There will be an Environmental Markets and Finance Funding Pool and a Natural Resources Funding Pool to support projects benefitting historically underserved producers, veteran farmers or small farm operations, or organizations comprised of or representing these individuals. NRCS-NJ anticipates that approximately $208,630 will be available for the program this year.
Pre-proposals must be received by April 6, 2015.

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Permalink Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area. NIFA anticipates $30 million will be available to support the AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area program designed to help solve critical water problems in rural and agricultural watersheds across the United States. In FY 2015 approximately $9 million will be available in support of new awards for this program. Eligibility is linked to the project type.
A letter of intent to apply is due by April 9, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in California

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is accepting project pre-proposals for up to $375,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). In fiscal year 2015, NRCS California is requesting CIG project pre-proposals that focus on one or more of the following natural resource issues: water quality/quantity; air quality and climate change; energy conservation; waste recycling; and wildlife habitat. Grants may not exceed $75,000. Eligible applicants include eligible state and local government, nongovernment organizations, eligible private business, or individuals.
Pre-proposals must be received by April 10, 2015.

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Permalink Kaiser Conservation Endowment

Washington State University and University of Idaho are soliciting proposals to the Verle Kaiser Conservation Endowment 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 Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, and colleges in Washington and Idaho. Proposals are not to exceed $5,000. Up to five grants will be awarded for this current funding cycle.
Proposals are due by April 10, 2015.

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Permalink Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program

This program, known as the "2501 Program," assists socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches while increasing their participation in agricultural programs and services provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Specifically, this program assists eligible community-based and non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. The total funding potentially available for this competitive opportunity is $9.1 million, with a maximum grant of $400,000.
Proposals must be received by April 13, 2015.

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Permalink Georgia Specialty Crop Block Program Grant

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2015 USDA/AMS Specialty Crop Block Program grant. Georgia’s funding award is estimated to be $1.4 million. Individual project award funding requests require a minimum request of $10,000 up to a maximum of $175,000. Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations and corporations, commodity commissions, associations, state and local government entities, and colleges and universities.
Applications are due by April 17, 2015.

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Permalink Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant

Montana agriculture has $1.3 million in federal grant funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. Montana’s SCBG projects should enhance the competitiveness of Montana specialty crops. Eligible projects include education on the value of specialty crops, improving efficiency of distribution systems, assisting entities in the development of good agricultural practices, pest and disease control, improving variety development, and sustainable production practices. State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts.
Proposals are due by April 22, 2015.

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Permalink Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) for fiscal year 2015 to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. OREI funds research, education, and extension programs that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. The amount available for support of this program in FY 2015 is approximately $17.5 million. This year OREI offers a new priority on new curriculum development for organic agriculture with $250,000 total maximum budget for up to 2 years.
Notice of Intent to Submit is requested by April 1, 2015; full applications are due April 30, 2015.

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Permalink North Dakota Specialty Crop Grants

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) is now accepting applications for 2015 Specialty Crop Grants. Projects that promote the production, processing, and use of specialty crops in North Dakota are eligible for these grants. Organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to submit proposals on their own or in partnerships.
Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2015.

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Permalink Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant

A special grant call to fund research on local and regional food systems across the Southern region is now available from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program and the Southern Rural Development Center. The grant is open to any individuals, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, governmental organizations and/or educational organizations located in the Southern region. This grant is not to fund the development of individual local and regional food systems, but to fund research defining, evaluating and understanding the impacts of local and regional food systems on sustainable agriculture.
Proposals are due May 4, 2015.

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Permalink Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Graduate Student Grant

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its 2015 Call for Proposals for Graduate Student Grants. Research projects that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the Southern region are eligible for submission. The maximum grant is $11,000 for up to three years work on the student's project. The Southern SARE program will only consider proposals submitted, and to be conducted, by graduate students (Master’s and PhD) enrolled at an accredited college or university in the Southern region, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Proposal submission deadline is May 4, 2015.

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Permalink North Central Region SARE Graduate Student Grant

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Graduate Student Grant Program provides funds to students enrolled in graduate programs or in veterinary medicine residence programs at accredited colleges or universities who are exploring some aspect of sustainable agriculture as part of their educational program. In 2015, $150,000 will be available to fund about 15 grant projects. Individual grants are for $10,000 total, and can fund projects lasting up to 36 months. The North Central region includes: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Proposals must be submitted by May 5, 2015.

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Permalink Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant

This grant is for graduate students who are researching topics in sustainable agriculture that will serve the interests of farmers and agricultural service providers. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years. This grant is open to graduate students enrolled at an accredited college, university, or veterinary school in the Northeast region.
Applications are due May 12, 2015.

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Permalink Local Food Promotion Program

The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) is a component of the Farmers Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program. LFPP offers grants to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Two types of project applications are accepted under LFPP: planning grants of $5,000 to $25,000 and implementation grants of $25,000 to $100,000. A 25% match is required. Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products.
Applications are due May 14, 2015.

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Permalink Farmers Market Promotion Program

Farmers Market Promotion Program offers grants to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Projects may develop, improve, expand, or providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. The maximum amount awarded for any one proposal cannot exceed $100,000; the minimum award is $15,000.
The application deadline is May 14, 2015.

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Permalink USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Designed to increase the availability of local foods in eligible schools, these grants help new farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. Four different kinds of grants are available. Planning grants are for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities; they’re designed to help them organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by incorporating best practices into early planning considerations. Implementation grants are available for schools or school districts seeking to augment or expand existing farm to school efforts. Support service grants are intended for nonprofit entities, Indian tribal organizations, state and local agencies, and agriculture producers or groups of producers to evolve farm to school initiatives. Additionally, all eligible entities can still apply for funds to support training and technical assistance, such as local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and integration of agriculture-based curriculum.
Proposals for planning, implementation, and support-service grants are due by May 20, 2015. Letters of intent for training grants are due April 30, 2015.

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Permalink Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Foundational Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is requesting applications for six AFRI priority areas through the Foundational Program for FY 2015. These priority areas are plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. The amount available for support of new projects in FY 2015 is approximately $116 million.
Application deadlines vary by program area from March 31 through June 24; some program areas require submission of a letter of intent to apply.

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Permalink The Harry Chapin Foundation

The Harry Chapin Foundation funds 501(c)(3) not-for-profit programs that operate in the United States that fall within the areas of Community Education Programs, Arts-In-Education Programs, and Agricultural and Environmental Programs. Grant sizes range from a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $10,000. The Foundation Board meets three times a year on an as-needed basis.

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