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May 2016



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Permalink Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Graduate Student Grants

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is accepting applications for Graduate Student grants. The opportunity is open to Ph.D. and Master's students at accredited institutions in the Southern region. Research projects that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the Southern region are eligible for submission. Maximum funds awarded for projects are $11,000 for up to three years work.
Proposal submission deadline is May 6, 2016.

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Permalink Tennessee Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Universities, institutions, cooperatives, producers, and industry or community-based organizations may submit a proposal for funding. The program aims to support projects that directly affect multiple Tennessee producers and have a positive, long-lasting impact on Tennessee agriculture. First-time recipients have a funding limit of $25,000.
Applications are due by May 6, 2016.

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Permalink Louisiana Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is accepting applications for $314,385 in funding through the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Producer associations, state and/or local organizations, state or local governments, qualified educational institutions, non-profits and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible recipients. Applicants must reside in or their business or educational affiliation must be in Louisiana. LDAF will accept grant applications with a yearly budget value of up to $100,000.
Applications must be received by May 9, 2016.

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Permalink Regional Conservation Partnership Program

NRCS has announced that up to $260 million is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for partner proposals to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. The program leverages local leadership to establish partnerships that can include private companies, local and tribal governments, universities, non-profits and other non-government partners to work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on landscape- and watershed-scale conservation solutions that work best for their region. This will be the third round of funding through RCPP.
Pre-proposals are due May 10, 2016.

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Permalink Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants

The goal of this grant program is to support graduate students who are doing research on topics specific to sustainable agriculture under the supervision of a faculty advisor. 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 10, 2016.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for up to $20 million in competitive national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Up to $2 million of this fiscal year's CIG funding has been set aside for projects targeted to historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those with limited resources. CIG is part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and is designed to focus on innovative conservation projects that promote science-based solutions to benefit both producers and the environment. Projects may include on-farm pilot projects and field demonstrations, and are funded to accelerate the transfer and adoption of promising technologies to landowners in order to address critical natural resource concerns. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals in all 50 states and U.S. Territories. The CIG focus for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 is Water Quality and Conservation Finance.
Applications are due by May 10, 2016.

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Permalink Western SARE Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting applications from masters or Ph.D. students enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region. Proposals must address issues in sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the western region. Projects must conduct research and education and demonstrate measurable impacts and outcomes. Grants provide a maximum of $25,000 and may last for up to two years.
Submission deadline is May 11, 2016.

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Permalink North Dakota Specialty Crop Grants

North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) will distribute $2.5 million dollars through the Specialty Crop Grants program for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in North Dakota. Eligible applications include developing organic and sustainable production practices, developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops, pest and disease control and investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes.
Applications must be submitted by May 11, 2016.

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Permalink Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program

Administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program provides a combined total of more than $26 million in competitive grants, divided equally between the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). FMPP grants support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism. LFPP funding supports projects that develop, improve, and expand local and regional food business intermediary supply chain activities, including processing, distribution, aggregation, and storage of locally or regionally produced food products.
Applications are due May 12, 2016.

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Permalink Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service, requests applications for the fiscal year 2016 Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) to competitively award matching grants to eligible applicants for projects that explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system. Approximately $1 million is available to fund applications. Eligible applicants are State departments of agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State agencies from the 50 States and U.S. territories.
Applications are due May 12, 2016.

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Permalink Alabama Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is accepting grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program, provided their proposals meet all the specifications. The maximum award to any applicant is $25,000; the minimum, $5,000.
Application deadline is May 13, 2016.

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Permalink Look at Agriculture…Organically!

The CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) Foundation, in collaboration with their partner, the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC), is accepting applications for the 2016 Look at Agriculture…Organically! grant. At least 22 K-8 teachers will be awarded $1,000 grants for organic classroom projects nationwide through a partnership with CFAITC. In past years, teachers brought in organic farmers as guest speakers, taught students about rotational grazing, and helped students preserve organic food to share with a local youth center. Certified kindergarten through eighth grade teachers throughout the nation are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by May 15, 2016.

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Permalink Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program

USDA has announced the availability of $22 million in grants through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. NIFA will give priority to CDRE grants projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary and include clearly defined ways to communicate results to producers.
Pre-applications are due on May 16, 2016.

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Permalink Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership

NRCS is making $15 million in financial and technical assistance available to help eligible conservation partners leverage local resources to voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private and tribal agricultural land nationwide. The funding is provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership, a special enrollment option under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Local and regional WREP partners match federal funding and technical assistance to increase the assistance they can provide to eligible private landowners interested in enrolling their agricultural land into conservation wetland easements.
Proposals are due to NRCS State Offices by May 16, 2016.

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Permalink New Jersey Specialty Crop Block Grants

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is requesting applications for USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funds to directly support New Jersey's specialty crop industry organizations. Projects must "enhance the competitiveness" of specialty crops and might include, but are not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development and developing cooperatives.
Application deadline is May 18, 2016.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Connecticut

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the availability of up to $227,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants in Connecticut. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for matching grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration. Priority topics this year include soil health, organic operation technologies, water quality, and others.
Proposals must be received by May 20, 2016.

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Permalink Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project in Missouri

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing funds across 10 states, including Missouri, for financial and technical assistance through the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project. Missouri farmers, ranchers and landowners can apply for funding for monarch habitat establishment and restoration at local NRCS offices. NRCS will target Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds to farmers willing to establish monarch-friendly plantings in strategically positioned areas. Practices also include managing those areas by installing fence and by controlling brush and weeds.
Applications for the initial round of funding must be submitted by May 20, 2016.

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Permalink New Hampshire Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food offers eligible New Hampshire organizations the opportunity to apply for funding under the New Hampshire Specialty Crops Grant Program to conduct projects that benefit New Hampshire Specialty Crops. A total of approximately $215,000 in funding is available. Eligible applicants include commodity groups, agriculture organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Application deadline is May 23, 2016.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Oregon

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. Applicants submitting proposals for the Oregon CIG may request up to $75,000 of federal funds at a 1:1 match.
Proposals must be received by May 23, 2016.

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Permalink Outreach and Education, Technical Assistance, and Financial Education for FSA Programs, Functions, and Activities

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is offering $2.5 million in grants to nonprofits and public institutions of higher education that develop proposals to improve farmer outreach and education on topics such as financial training, value-added production, recordkeeping, property inheritance and crop production practices. The initiative focuses on new or underserved farmers, returning military veterans, minorities, women, urban or locally-grown producers, and others. Awards between $20,000 and $100,000 per applicant will be available. For nonprofits and public institutions of higher education that are considering participation, an online informational session will be conducted on September 28, 2015.
USDA will conduct four evaluation periods to review applications, with the deadlines of November 20, 2015, January 22, 2016, March 18, 2016, and May 27, 2016.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grant Program in Idaho

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has set aside $150,000 for the 2016 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. The program funds projects that demonstrate new and creative ways to conserve and sustain the state's natural resources. NRCS will accept proposals under this notice for projects up to three years in length, submitted by eligible entities from Idaho. Eligible entities include Indian Tribes, State and local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. Selected applicants may receive CIG grants of up to 50% of their total project cost, not to exceed $75,000.
Proposals must be received by May 31, 2016.

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Permalink Methyl Bromide Transition Program

The methyl bromide transition program addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Applications may be submitted by colleges and universities, for matching funds up to $500,000.
Applications are due by May 31, 2016.

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Permalink Western SARE Research & Education Grants

These grants involve scientists, producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to address issues related to sustaining agriculture in the Western SARE region. Agricultural producers must be partners in the project from start to finish. Projects can be up to three years in duration. Funding generally does not exceed $250,000. Projects must incorporate both research and education.
Pre-proposals are due June 1, 2016.

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Permalink North Dakota Honey Bee Research and Promotion Grant

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is seeking grant proposals for approximately $100,000 available to fund research and promotion of honey bees. There are five research priorities: colony collapse cause and management; varroa mite control; understanding honey bee viruses and effects on honey bee health; correlating pathogen presence to management practices; and other problem-solving ideas of interest to the beekeeping industry. Proposals for honey promotion and outreach projects must have a direct benefit to North Dakota honey producers. Grant applications must be received by June 1, 2016.

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Permalink Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program

NIFA requests grant applications for the Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2016. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. These are audiences affected by new food safety guidelines established under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Approximately $4.7 million in grant funding is available. Cooperative Extension, organizations representing farmers and with public health and food safety expertise, state and local governments, and institutions of higher education may apply.
Applications are due June 2, 2016.

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Permalink Massachusetts Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program

The Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA) seeks to help Massachusetts’ farmers who have been in business for at least one, but no more than five years, acquire equipment and other non-land assets, or make infrastructure improvements, that can help insure the financial viability of their farm businesses. Matching funds of up to $10,000 are available to implement improvement strategies after individual business review and analysis provided by the Department. Business analysis assistance is an additional program benefit and the value of that service is in addition to the grant award.
The deadline for applications is June 8, 2016.

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Permalink Value-Added Producer Grant Program

USDA is making up to $44 million in matching funds available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Value-Added Producer Grants may be used to develop new products and create additional uses for existing ones. Priority for these grants is given to veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches. Additional priority is given to applicants who seek funding for projects that will create or increase marketing opportunities for these types of operators. The maximum grant is $75,000 for planning and $250,000 for working capital.
The deadline to submit paper applications is July 1, 2016. Electronic applications are due June 24, 2016.

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Permalink Working Lands for Wildlife Partnership

USDA has announced the availability of $40 million through the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, to help ranchers and other partners in 11 western states restore and protect sagebrush habitat for greater sage-grouse on privately-owned land. USDA has also announced more than $10 million available in 2016 to support six other WLFW initiatives for focus species across the country including the New England cottontail, southwestern willow flycatcher, golden-winged warbler, gopher tortoise, bog turtle, and lesser prairie-chicken. Funding for WLFW comes from two 2014 Farm Bill programs that accelerate conservation efforts to benefit wildlife populations by conserving entire landscapes, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The Conservation Stewardship Program provides additional opportunities for producers wanting to restore sagebrush and prairie habitat for sage grouse and prairie chicken. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local USDA service center.
Application periods differ by state.

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Permalink New Jersey Audubon Small Grants for Natural Resource Conservation on Farms

New Jersey Audubon has created a small grants program focusing on soil and water conservation within four areas in southern New Jersey. Farmers and producers of the Greater Hammonton area, Maurice and Upper Cohansey Rivers, Upper Salem River area, and the western Cape May Peninsula are eligible to receive funding for projects addressing resource concerns on their property, such as irrigation system updates, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, cover crops, and more. Funding is available through 2017, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants.

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