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Funding Opportunities



December 2016



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Permalink Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Grants Program

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) grants program is accepting research proposals from applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. OFRF offers funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working organic farms or ranches. Priorities for funding this year are small grain production, soil health, social science research, and animal production. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding.
The deadline for proposals is December 12, 2016.

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Permalink Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program of USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Grantees conduct a project assessment and cooperate with and contribute to independent evaluations to determine the relative effectiveness of the grant program in achieving the legislative goals of “increasing fruit and vegetable purchases” and “improving the nutrition and health status” of participating households. Applications for $100,000 - $500,000 may only be submitted by government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Applications are due by December 12, 2016.

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Permalink New York Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program

New York has $2.5 million available through round two of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program to help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for, and recover after, severe weather events. The State's county Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. Applications must be for one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare systems; water management systems; and soil health systems.
Proposals are due by December 12, 2016.

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Permalink Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced a new round of funding for the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. Approximately $250,000 is available to test ideas that could conserve natural resources, enhance profitability, and improve life on the farm. This program funds projects that demonstrate farming methods or systems that increase energy efficiency, reduce agricultural chemical usage, and show economic and environmental benefits. Applications from farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations that meaningfully involve Minnesota farmers in their projects. Projects must last two to three years and applicants may receive up to $25,000.
The deadline to apply is December 13, 2016.

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Permalink ASHCA Safety Grants Program

The Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) is seeking applications for the 2017 Safety Grants. This program encourages and provides financial support for selected agricultural safety and health interventions at the local and/or regional level to provide useful and practical education, training, and/or communication tools that can be shared widely with the agricultural community to facilitate timely application of evidence-based safety/health strategies to protect all agricultural workers. Grants may be awarded for practical safety research, development of safety programs, research to study causes or interventions in specific agricultural settings, development of education or communication programs, as well as for professional development programs targeting both agricultural producers/businesses and agricultural safety and health professionals.
A letter of intent to apply is due December 15, 2016; full applications are due January 4, 2017.

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Permalink Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program

Maryland Energy Administration is accepting applications from Maryland agricultural businesses for the 2017 Mathias Ag Program. MEA will provide grants on a competitive basis to farms/businesses in the agriculture sector to cover up to 50% of the cost of eligible energy efficiency upgrades and up to 25% of the cost of eligible renewable energy upgrades, if applicable, after all other incentives have been applied. In fiscal year 2017, there is up to $650,000 available for eligible energy efficiency measures and up to $250,000 available for eligible renewable energy measures.
Applications are due December 15, 2016.

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Permalink Oregon State Weed Board Grant Program

The Oregon State Weed Board (OSWB) is accepting applications for projects for on-the-ground weed control of Oregon state-listed noxious weeds that protect water quality and overall watershed health. Any person, tribe, watershed council, soil and water conservation district, community college, state institution of higher education, independent not-for-profit institution of higher education, or political subdivision of Oregon that is not a state agency may submit a request for funding.
Applications are due December 15, 2016.

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Permalink Minnesota Livestock Investment Grant

Qualifying Minnesota livestock producers can apply for reimbursement of 10% of the first $500,000 of investment in livestock improvements. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction, or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing, as well as feeding and waste-management equipment. Producers must make a minimum investment of $4,000, and the maximum reimbursement available per year is $25,000.
Applications are due by December 16, 2016.

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Permalink Pennsylvania Farm Succession Planning Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is making $165,000 available to help owners of farms preserved by agricultural easements offset professional service costs associated with succession planning. Individuals can apply for grants up to $3,000 that can be used as a one-to-one match to reimburse costs incurred by organizing and utilizing a succession planning team of professionals with expertise in the area of farm succession/transition planning and any other identified areas of need, the purpose of which is to ensure that agricultural operations continue on the land.
Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received; grant funding is limited.

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Permalink Grazing and Pasture Education Grants

The Pennsylvania Grazing Lands Coalition (PA GLC) is accepting applications for the organization's ongoing educational mini-grants program. The grants are offered to organizations and producer associations that provide grazing-focused education and trainings throughout the Commonwealth. Special interest topics for this year's program include Pasture Soil Health, Strategies to Extend or Enhance Grazing Systems, Grass Fed Meats/Products, Wildlife Benefits from Grazing as well as Pasture Nutrient Management. There are several funding levels for the program, ranging from $200 to $1,000.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and there is no deadline.

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Permalink Farm Ops Online Course Scholarships for Veterans

The Cornell Small Farms Program is offering partial scholarships for military veterans to take its online courses as part of the Farm Ops initiative. The courses, normally $250, will be offered to veterans for $125. In order to be eligible a person must be a veteran or active duty military, a resident of New York State, and have plans to begin selling farm products (filing a Schedule F) in 2016 or 2017. Registration is limited and will be offered first-come, first-served.

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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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Permalink DeWind Awards for Research into Lepidoptera Conservation

The Xerces Society is accepting applications for two $3,750 awards for research into Lepidoptera conservation. The Joan Mosenthal DeWind Awards are given to students who are engaged in research leading to a university degree related to Lepidoptera conservation and who intend to continue to work in this field. Applicants may be graduate or undergraduate students. Proposed research should have a clear connection to Lepidoptera conservation and must be completed within one year from receiving funds.
The submission deadline is January 2, 2017.

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Permalink Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Scholarships

OFRF is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of scholarships to help with the cost of attending the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS), taking place on January 25-26, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Scholarships of up to $350 will be awarded based on the need and merit of the applicant. The scholarship funds may be used for symposium registration ($90-120), travel and one night of lodging. Students, farmers and researchers in the U.S. who would like to apply for a scholarship should submit a letter of interest.
Letters of interest are due by January 5, 2017.

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Permalink Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships

Annie’s scholarship program assists undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in sustainable and organic agriculture. This year, 15 winners will each be eligible to receive $10,000. The program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2017/2018 school year. Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture.
Applications must be postmarked by January 6, 2017.

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Permalink Iowa Master Gardener Growing Together Mini Grant

Mini grants are available to Iowa State University Extension & Outreach county offices in partnership with active Master Gardeners. The county-wide mini grants will provide grants up to $5,000 for one or multiple local Master Gardener projects aimed at increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables for families experiencing poverty in Iowa. Projects can be either a grow strategy that starts, converts, or maintains a donation garden, or they can be a connect strategy that serves as a conduit to connect growers and service agencies.
Applications are due by January 6, 2017.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS​), the department will invest up to $25 million for projects that spark the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches in areas like conservation finance, data analytics, and precision conservation to benefit producers on private agricultural and forest lands. In 2017, program focus areas will include innovative approaches that benefit historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those with limited resources. There is also a focus on demonstration, evaluation, and quantification of the effects of water management and soil health practices to minimize off-site impacts of natural resource challenges, such as excess sediment and nutrient runoff, and an emphasis on pay-for-success models that stimulate conservation adoption and achievement of measurable outcomes.
Proposals are due by January 9, 2017.

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Permalink Florida Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services anticipates receiving 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Funds from the United State Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). These funds, estimated to be $3.8 million, will be awarded to projects that enhance the competitiveness of Florida specialty crops. Proposals will be accepted from nonprofit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations related to Florida's specialty crop industry. Individuals, individual producers, for-profit businesses, or commercial entities may submit proposals. However, the project must focus on research, education or demonstration and must benefit the specialty crop industry in a manner that can be adequately replicated by other organizations.
The application must be received by January 9, 2017.

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Permalink Agricultural Land Easements in Arizona

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting a third round of applications for the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) in Arizona beginning December 12. NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland. About $6.8 million is being invested this year in Arizona through ACEP.
The deadline for third round applications is January 13, 2017.

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Permalink Community Forest Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. Eligible lands for grants funded under this program are private forest that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75% forested.
Applications are due by January 13, 2017.

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Permalink Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector through NIFA's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). OREI funds high-priority research, education, and extension projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic products. Eligible entities include Land-Grant and other research universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, state agricultural experiment stations, research foundations, and other private researchers. Priority areas include biological, physical, and social science research, including economics.
Applications are due by January 19, 2017.

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Permalink New York State New Farmers Grant Fund

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund has $1 million available to assist new and early-stage farmers. The fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 50 percent being matched by the recipient. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures. This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes.
Applications are due by January 27, 2017.

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Permalink REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant

This grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, to establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. The maximum aggregate amount of energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants awarded to any one recipient under this Notice cannot exceed $100,000.
Applications must be received by January 31, 2017.

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Permalink Herb Society of America Research Grants

The Herb Society of America offers grants of $5,000 for research of the horticultural, scientific, and/or social use of herbs throughout history. Research must define herb as historically useful for flavoring, medicine, ornament, economic, industrial, or cosmetic purposes. Eligible applicants may be students, professionals, or individuals.
Applications are due by January 31, 2017.

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Permalink Kentucky State University Small Scale Farm Grant

This grant program is for certified organic farmers, value-added producers, and aquatic farmers. Kentucky farmers that sell at least $1,000 of agriculture produce to the public, but don't sell more than $250,000, are eligible to apply, as are corporations and cooperatives that serve Kentucky farms. Funding limits are $5,000 per farmer and $15,000 for organizations.
The next application deadline is February 1, 2017.

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Permalink Multi-State Rural Development Research or Extension Projects

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University announces a competition for seed grants aimed at enhancing the ability of Land Grant institutions to positively influence the quality of life in rural areas of the twelve-state North Central region of the United States. Priority areas for the Center's work include the following: innovation diffusion for rural development, sustainable communities, leadership development, and entrepreneurial communities. Grant awards may range from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Up to $144,000 will be awarded.
Proposals are due February 2, 2017.

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Permalink Michigan Rural Development Fund Grants

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) is offering a new grant opportunity to promote the sustainability of land-based industries, including food and agriculture, and support infrastructure that benefits rural communities. The grant funds are available for projects that address expansion and sustainability of land-based industries; worker training related to land-based industries; and energy, transportation, communications, water, and wastewater infrastructure to benefit rural communities. Individuals, organizations, businesses, tribes, educational institutions, and local governments may apply. The total allotment for funding is approximately $1.5 million. A 30% match is required.
Proposals must be submitted by February 2, 2017.

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Permalink Agricultural Conservation Easement Program in Vermont

NRCS' Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) helps protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat by encouraging private owners to maintain land for farming and ranching. Two programs are available under ACEP: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) are designed for active working farms through a cooperative agreement with a cooperating entity, such as a land trust, sharing 50% of the easement purchase cost; Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) are designed to restore and protect wetlands and their associated habitats and allow landowners to work directly with NRCS to secure and restore easement areas with up to 100% of the associated costs paid for by NRCS.
In Vermont, applications for both programs are accepted year-round with an application cutoff of February 3, 2017.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in Maine

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Maine is accepting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the local development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in Fiscal Year 2017 will be up to $250,000 in Maine. Maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in this fiscal year. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations, or individuals, for projects between one and three years in duration. NRCS will consider offering CIGs in the following areas: Integrated Pest Management; Energy Efficiency; Soil Health; Wildlife; and Conservation Planning and Practices.
Proposals must be received by February 15, 2017.

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Permalink Montana Specialty Crop Mini-Grants

The Montana Department of Agriculture, the Montana Food & Ag Development Centers, and the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition are offering mini-grants across Montana to support beginning specialty crop producers and others to expand specialty crops across Montana. Beginning farmers may apply for grants from $1,000 to $5,000. Other types of applicants may be eligible on a case-by-case basis (e.g. experienced farmers new to cultivating specialty crops, agricultural and food co-ops, schools, nonprofits, etc.). Grant funds can be used for supplies, consultant costs, and salaries and equipment solely related to specialty crops.
This project is currently funded through August 2019.

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