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Home  > Funding Opportunites

Funding Opportunities

May 2015

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in New York

The New York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for up to $150,000 in funding through their State Conservation Innovative Grant (CIG). The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches into NRCS technical manuals and guides or to the private sector. CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology in order to increase adoption with an emphasis on opportunities to scale proven, emerging conservation strategies. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users.
Applications are due by June 1, 2015.

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Permalink Southern SARE Research & Education Grants

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting pre-proposals for the 2015 Research & Education Grants program, for systems research and education activities that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the region and nation. The SARE Southern Region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Pre-proposals are due June 1, 2015

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Permalink Kentucky Specialty Crop Grants

Farmers and other eligible applicants in Kentucky may seek funding from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for producing and marketing specialty crops. Eligible producers, commodity groups, agriculture organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations may apply. The maximum award to any applicant is $50,000.
Applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2015.

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Permalink Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grant

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting pre-proposals for Professional Development Program (PDP) grants. PDP is a "train the trainer" program, providing funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in areas of sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distributing of training materials. Activities may take place in a single state, multiple states, or throughout the entire Southern region.
Pre-proposals are due by June 1, 2015.

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Permalink Ohio Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which will provide funding for projects to enhance the competitiveness of crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and nursery crops. Project proposals are sought that will advance the long-term economic viability of the state’s specialty crop industry while increasing the marketability of specialty crops. Grants will range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000. In addition, all applicants must provide a minimum match of 25% of the requested grant amount.
Proposals are due June 1, 2015.

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Permalink Western SARE Research and Education Grants

These grants involve Western Region scientists, producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to address issues related to sustaining agriculture. Proposals must incorporate research and education within the scope of the project, and must include a minimum of three producers for on-farm testing, demonstration, and collaboration. Educational outreach plans must also be included.
Pre-proposals are due June 3, 2015.

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Permalink Vermont Conservation Innovation Grant

Up to $225,000 is available for the 2015 Vermont CIG state competition. Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations, individuals, or legal entities for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration. For 2015, the Vermont State CIG has prioritized two categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs: Water Quality and Energy.
Proposals must be received by June 8, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Connecticut

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Connecticut is accepting proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2015 will be up to $203,000. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration.
Proposals must be received by June 12, 2015.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas

NRCS in Arkansas has announced that approximately $300,000 in funding is available through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas. State, tribal, and local governmental entities; non-governmental organizations; and individuals may apply. For FY 2015, Arkansas NRCS will consider offering grants in the following areas: nutrient and sediment reduction in impaired watersheds; environmental markets for water; high tunnels; organic; invasive species; irrigation; energy-irrigation; livestock watering; soil health; and adoption of cover crops in rice rotations. Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000, and applicants must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50% of the project cost.
Project proposals are due by June 15, 2015.

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Permalink Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants

USDA Food and Nutrition Service has announced the availability of $3.3 million in competitive grant funds, to be awarded through the Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants in fiscal year 2015. The goals of the program are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) services at farmers markets. Grant funds must be used to conduct tasks that are necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers market participation in SNAP. Grants up to $250,000 are offered.
Applications are due by June 18, 2015; a letter of intent to apply is due by May 18, 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 Regional Center Grants to Enhance Food Safety

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have joined in a collaborative partnership to administer and manage the National Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program: Regional Center Grants to Enhance Food Safety. This program is designed to develop and implement a comprehensive food safety training, education and technical assistance program for those affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The intention of this program is to begin building an infrastructure that will support a national food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance system and provide significant opportunities for funding through subcontracts and for partnerships with eligible stakeholder groups, including community-based and non-governmental organizations. Total estimated program funding is $2.3 million. Matching funding is required.
Applications are due by June 29, 2015.

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Permalink California State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced that an estimated $10 million will be available for competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations. Agricultural operations can apply for funding up to $150,000 per project.
Applications are due by June 29, 2015.

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Permalink Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant

Northeast SARE Professional Development grants are for organizations to develop and deliver sustainable agriculture training. Awards typically range from $30,000 to $150,000. The program emphasis is on training the trainers, disseminating sustainable practices and technologies, advancing new content, and seeking measurable, verifiable change that leads to the improved and widespread practice of agricultural sustainability. Projects must be held within the Northeast SARE region.
Preproposals are due by June 30, 2015.

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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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Permalink New York State Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program

Empire State Development (ESD) has up to $ 2 million of funding available for the State's Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program. The program will increase the profile, awareness, and sales of New York State-produced wine, beer, spirits, and hard cider by providing matching funds for the marketing and promotion of these craft beverages. Not-for-profit corporations can apply for matching grants of up to $5,000 for qualifying marketing and promotional activities.
Applications will be received and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until all funding is awarded or the program period ends.

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Permalink Wyoming Specialty Crop Program Non-Profit Organization High Tunnel Grants

Small grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to promote Specialty Crop season extension through high tunnel projects. This is a matching program. Nonprofit organizations may receive a maximum of one high tunnel grant. The total grant award is limited to 75% of the eligible expenditures. The minimum amount of a grant is $500. The maximum a grant is $3500.
Applications are due by July 1, 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 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 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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