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Home  > Funding Opportunites

Funding Opportunities

July 2015

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Permalink EPA Pesticide Field Implementation Meeting Support RFA

The EPA cooperates with partners and stakeholders on programs and activities to advance the safe use of pesticides. EPA anticipates a greater need for collaboration upon revisions to the Worker Protection Standard and Certified Applicator regulations. The grantee will coordinate meetings, workshops, and conferences. With this five-year cooperative agreement, EPA expects to provide $700,000 the first year.
Apply by July 5, 2015.

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Permalink Agriculture Risk Management Education Partnerships Competitive Grants Program

The primary purpose of the Risk Management Education program administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is to provide U.S. agricultural producers and their families, as appropriate, with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed risk management decisions that enhance profitability of their operations. Applications may be submitted by colleges and universities, Federal, State, and local agencies, nonprofit and for-profit private organizations or corporations, and other entities. More than $4.4 million in project funding is expected to be available.
Applications are due by July 6, 2015.

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Permalink Leopold Center Competitive Grants Program

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has issued its Summer 2015 Request for Pre-proposals for Research and Project grants. For 2015, these two main categories are divided into 10 subject portals (long-standing core interests) and there will be five specific focus areas (varied by year) described. The Center will give priority to pre-proposals whose outcomes contribute to increased resilience on Iowa landscapes and demonstrate a systems approach to the identified problem or situation rather than investigating single-tactic solutions. The Center will accept pre-proposals from investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization/agency and/or educational institution, including soil and water conservation districts, schools and colleges, and regional development groups. Farmers, landowners and farm-based businesses are invited to participate in the pre-proposal process but they must be associated with a nonprofit organization.
Concept papers are due by July 7, 2015.

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Permalink Missouri Soil Health, Conservation Outreach, Cultural Resources, and Climate Change

The USDA NRCS Missouri State Office is seeking to partner and support the efforts of natural resource conservation partners and to promote public awareness and implementation of Farm Bill activities. The main focus is to conduct conservation outreach workshops, conferences and training that will help educate Missouri's farm community, private landowners, conservation organizations, cooperating agencies, and general citizenry. Two other opportunities within this announcement are seeking partnership in cultural resources and conservation implementation associated with climate change. Awards range from $3,000 to $50,000.
Applications are due by July 7, 2015.

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Permalink Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

USDA is making $30 million available through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) to farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs to develop new product lines. VAPG grants can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or additional uses for already-developed product lines. Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer- or rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures are eligible to apply for this program. Military veterans, socially disadvantaged, and beginning farmers and ranchers; operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches; farmer and rancher cooperatives; and applicants that propose mid-tier value chain projects are given special priority in applying for VAPGs.
Electronic applications are due July 2, 2015. Hard-copy applications are due July 7, 2015.

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Permalink Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), USDA NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners in innovative, workable, and cost-effective approaches to benefit farming, ranching, and forest operations, local economies, and the communities and resources in a watershed or other geographic area. RCPP, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, empowers local leaders to work with multiple partners—such as private companies, local and tribal governments, universities, non-profit groups, and other non-government partners—along with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to design solutions that work best for their region. Local partners and the federal government both invest funding and manpower to projects to maximize their impact. This will be the second round of projects funded through RCPP. RCPP partners develop project applications to address specific natural resource objectives in a proposed area or region. Subject to fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations, NRCS anticipates the availability of about $225 million in funding for RCPP.
Pre-proposals are due July 8, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Missouri

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri is accepting applications for grants to fund projects focusing on environmental markets and natural resources. Missouri anticipates having $100,000 in state-component funds available. individual grants up to $50,000 can be used to fund up to 50% of the total cost of a project lasting one to three years.
Applications must be received by July 10, 2015.

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Permalink EPA Pesticide Safety Resource Projects RFA

EPA's partners and stakeholders conduct outreach and education on the safe use of pesticides by applicators and handlers in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings. The grantee under this RFA will coordinate the development of materials and resources for this purpose. EPA anticipates a greater need for communications upon revisions to the Worker Protection Standard and Certified Applicator regulations. With this five-year cooperative agreement, EPA expects to provide over $1,000,000 annually.
Applications are due by July 12, 2015.

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Permalink Maryland Cover Crop Program

The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program provides grants to help farmers offset seed, labor, and equipment costs associated with planting cover crops in the fall. Maryland has earmarked approximately $22 million for this year's program. At least five acres of cover crops must be planted by November 5, 2015. Cover crops may be grazed or harvested. Incentives apply for some crops and seeding methods.
Applications are due by July 15, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Practices in Northern Indiana

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that it is accepting applications for funding to improve water quality in several watersheds in northern Indiana. NRCS is investing dollars through the Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP) in the Western Lake Erie Basin and St. Joseph River watersheds that will help improve water quality and strengthen agricultural operations.
Applications must be received by July 17, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in South Dakota

South Dakota NRCS is seeking proposals for the state level Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program that targets soil quality and pollinator habitat. A total of $150,000 has been set aside for this state level program, with a maximum grant award of $75,000 per project. Proposals are requested from eligible government or nongovernment organizations and entities for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration.
Applications must be received by July 17, 2015.

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Permalink USDA Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program

This program assists organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training. USDA plans to make up to $3 million in grants available. The maximum award is $175,000. Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers, and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. The cooperatives or centers can be located in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area. Also, the majority of the governing body of the organization must be compromised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups.
Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015; electronic submissions must be made by July 14, 2015.

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Permalink Wetland Restoration Planning, Design, and Implementation Assistance

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Louisiana is requesting applications to provide planning, design, and implementation of restoration activities on eligible Agricultural Conservation Easement Program/Wetland Reserve Easement, Wetlands Reserve Program, and Emergency Watershed Protection – Floodplain Easement properties. Louisiana NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in Fiscal Year 2016 will be $5 million. Funds will be awarded through competitive cooperative agreements. Applications will be accepted from eligible individuals/entities, Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, Federal, State, and local governments, and non-governmental organizations. Organizations that share a mutual interest in wetland conservation and who have the highest probability of providing in-kind contributions and other sources of financial or technical support are encouraged to submit a proposal.
Applications are due by July 24, 2015.

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Permalink Rural Cooperative Development Grant

USDA is accepting applications from non-profit corporations and institutions of higher education for grants to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. The primary objective of the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program is to improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals and businesses in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. RCDG will make up to $5.8 million in grants available in Fiscal Year 2015. One-year grants up to $200,000 are available. In most cases, grants may be used to pay for up to 75% of a project's total costs.
The application deadline is July 30, 2015.

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Permalink Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership

USDA has announced the availability of $17.5 million in financial and technical assistance through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), a special enrollment option under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program's Wetland Reserve Easement component. Under WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations, and American Indian tribes collaborate with USDA through cooperative and partnership agreements. NRCS will sign multi-year agreements with partners to leverage resources, including funding, to achieve maximum wetland restoration, protection and enhancement and to create optimum wildlife habitat on enrolled acres. WREP partners are required to contribute a funding match for financial or technical assistance. These partners work with willing tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their properties.
Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by July 31, 2015.

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Permalink Specialty Crop Research Initiative/Citrus Disease Research and Extension

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension, administered by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is offering matching grants to conduct research and extension activities, technical assistance, and development activities to: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid, and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies. Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities. A total of $23 million in matching funding is available.
Applications are due by August 14, 2015.

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Permalink Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance

Local Foods, Local Places will provide direct technical support to selected communities. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The assistance process features a community workshop that brings people together to develop shared goals and steps to achieve them. Together, EPA, USDA, CDC, DOT, ARC, and DRA are investing $800,000 in this round of Local Foods, Local Places.
Application deadline is September 15, 2015.

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Permalink Ceres Trust Organic Research Initiative

Ceres Trust, a privately administered charitable trust based in the Midwest, offers a competitive Organic Research Initiative program that provides grants of up to $60,000 per year for up to three years to universities and other nonprofit applicants in the North Central Region. Ceres Trust wishes to fund research that will deepen our knowledge of how the natural systems that sustain life on earth function, and research that will apply that knowledge to delineate farming methods that protect and work in concert with nature to create truly sustainable and resilient farming systems. Examples of priority research areas are listed online.
Applications are due by September 25, 2015.

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Permalink Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs, and increase economic opportunities in rural communities through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program. Funding to support $14.190 million in loans and $2.086 million in grants is currently available. RMAP provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to help microentrepreneurs – very small businesses with 10 or fewer employees – access capital to start or grow businesses. MDOs use the funds to provide training and technical assistance to small businesses or to establish revolving loan funds that provide micro-loans, typically $5,000 to $50,000, to rural microentrepreneurs.
Applications must be received on the last day prior to the beginning of each Federal fiscal quarter to be considered for funding in that quarter.

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Permalink Minnesota Rural Finance Authority Avian Influenza Low-Interest Loans

Minnesota poultry farmers who have suffered losses due to highly pathogenic avian influenza are eligible for disaster loans through the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority (RFA). The RFA has been appropriated $10 million to help producers replace commercial poultry flocks or game (backyard) flocks, make building improvements, and cover the loss of revenue. The RFA Disaster Loan Program is available to farmers through their existing agricultural lenders. The current loan interest rate is 0% for up to a period of 10 years. The RFA participation is limited to 45% of the principal amount up to a maximum of $200,000.

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Permalink Organic Certification Cost Share

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that approximately $11.9 million in organic certification assistance is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country. Through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, $11 million is available to organic farms and businesses nationwide. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA), an additional $900,000 is available to organic producers (crop and livestock operators only) in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. To receive cost share assistance, certified organic producers and handlers should contact their appropriate state agencies via the contact information on the National Organic Program's (NOP) cost share website.
Funds are available through September 30, 2015.

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Permalink Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Ownership Loan Program

Through the FSA direct farm ownership program, eligible farmers and ranchers can borrow up to $300,000 to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation. The interest rate can be as low as 1.5% with up to 40 years to repay. New farmers and ranchers, military veterans, and underserved farmers and ranchers also are encouraged to apply. Each year Congress targets 80% of available loan funds to beginning and targeted underserved farmers and ranchers. Contact your local FSA office to apply. To find your local FSA county office, visit
Applications must be approved by September 30, 2015, to take advantage of the funding available this fiscal year.

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Permalink Western SARE Professional Development Program Grants

The Administrative Council of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is accepting applications for Professional Development Program competitive grants for 2016. These grants help Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and other agricultural professionals in the Western Region increase their understanding and proficiency in sustainable agriculture. Projects must improve the ability of agricultural professionals to conduct educational programs and activities in sustainable agriculture principles and systems and to respond to inquiries on the subject from farmers, ranchers, and the public.
Applications are due October 28, 2015.

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