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February 2016



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Permalink Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers' Grower Grant

The ASCFG provides funding to ASCFG members for on-farm research. Education and outreach topics will also be considered. The competition is open only to current ASCFG members. This year the fund will provide one or more grants totaling $2,000. The results should benefit specialty cut flower growers in the field or in the greenhouse.
Applications are due by February 12, 2016.

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Permalink Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program

The purpose of the BRAG program is to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing into the environment genetically engineered organisms. Applications may be submitted by any United States public or private research or educational institution or organization. Matching funds totaling $4 million are available.
A letter of intent to apply is due by February 12, 2016.

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Permalink New York Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in partnership with the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI), is accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The Department and NYFVI are seeking proposals for research and grower education projects that will boost the competitiveness of New York's specialty crops and enhance the long-term success of the State's agri-businesses. Individual projects can be awarded up to $100,000. Proposals may address a wide range of challenges and opportunities related to the competitiveness of the State's specialty crop industry. Priority areas have been identified. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, not-for-profit educational institutions, and local and Indian tribal governments.
Applications are due February 14, 2016.

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Permalink The FruitGuys Community Fund

The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Preference will be given to applicants within 250 miles of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Phoenix. Projects to be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach.
Applications are due by February 15, 2016.

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Permalink Ballyshannon Fund

Founded by a man who spent a lifetime in the countryside, the Ballyshannon Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. The Ballyshannon Fund supports educational projects and programs in central Virginia. The fund supports creative means to appreciate, conserve, and maintain working farmland and professionally-managed timber land educational endeavors designed to encourage greater understanding of rural living, the ethos of commercial farming and timbering, and the responsible use of natural resources, including hunting and fishing.
Letters of inquiry are due by February 15, 2016.

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Permalink Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program. The goal of the program is to support the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island. Priorities for 2016 are projects that support the growth and sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishermen/women; projects that foster new collaborations or share new information among Rhode Island food businesses, organizations, or enterprises; and projects that support new products or new sales channels with clearly defined markets. Non-profit organizations, farmers, fishermen/women, and producer groups based in Rhode Island are eligible to apply for up to $20,000.
Applications are due by February 16, 2016.

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Permalink California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program

The SALC program is the first in the country that links the protection of agricultural lands to climate change mitigation. In 2016, cities, counties, and land trusts will have the opportunity to apply for funding to do either of the following: 1) Permanently protect agricultural land via the purchase of agricultural conservation easements; or 2) Enact local strategies that result in permanent agricultural land protection.
Pre-proposals are due by February 16, 2016.

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Permalink Southeast New England Program for Coastal Watershed Restoration

U.S. EPA is soliciting initial proposals to support priorities of the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) for coastal watershed restoration by advancing ecosystem resiliency, protecting and restoring water quality, habitat, and ecosystem function, and developing and applying innovative policy, science, and technology to environmental management in southeast coastal New England. EPA intends to fund projects that address SNEP priorities through projects, networks, and/or partnerships among governmental and community resource managers, technology and science practitioners, policy organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), tribes, and other groups. Projects should build program capacity for environmental management, including developing and establishing robust institutional, monitoring, information, and technology frameworks that can offer more effective, transferable and sustainable paths to restoring and protecting southeast New England coastal watersheds. These projects must address one or more of the four priority areas: Innovative Restoration and Protection Approaches, Strategic Collaboration and Regional Impact, Integrating Habitat and Water Quality, and Focus on Connectivity and Ecosystem Services and Functions. Matching funding up to $1 million is available.
Applications are due by January 22, 2016.

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Permalink Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) receives grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon's specialty crops. ODA accepts competitive applications for specialty crop grant funds annually. Non-profit organizations, local government entities, for-profit organizations, industry trade associations, producer groups, commodity commissions, and public and private colleges/universities are eligible to apply.
Concept proposals are due February 23, 2016.

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Permalink Promise Zones Initiative

The application period for the third round of Promise Zone designations is open. HUD intends to designate five urban communities and USDA intends to designate one rural and one tribal community. The Promise Zone designation will be for a term of 10 years. The Promise Zone designation partners the Federal government with local leaders who are addressing multiple community revitalization challenges in a collaborative way and have demonstrated a commitment to results. Interested eligible organizations are invited to submit applications for a Promise Zone designation.
Applications are due by February 23, 2016.

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Permalink Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant

The Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for an estimated $1.3 million in federal funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. Montana's SCBG program benefits projects solely enhancing 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.
Grant proposals are due by February 24, 2016.

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Permalink Great Lakes Restoration Initiative--Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection

The goal of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is to target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem by funding and implementing federal projects that address these problems. As part of this initiative, the two bird habitat joint ventures that are in the Great Lakes watershed--the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture--will be working with the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs in the Midwest and Northeast Regions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to competitively fund state and other partner projects for long-term habitat protection, restoration, or enhancement, for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds. Preference will be given to activities that help meet the habitat goals of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Implementation Plan or the Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain (BCR 13) Bird Conservation Region Plan, other relevant bird conservation plans, and State Wildlife Action Plans. Grants from $25,000 to $300,000 are available.
Applications are due by February 26, 2016.

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Permalink Georgia Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Georgia Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants from $10,000 to a maximum of $175,000, for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The project proposal must focus on research, education, marketing, etc., and benefit the specialty crop industry. Proposals will be accepted from IRS-designated 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, commodity commissions, associations, state and local government entities, and colleges and universities.
Concept proposals are due by February 26, 2016.

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Permalink Pennsylvania Specialty Crops Grant Program

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is accepting concept proposals for projects aimed at enhancing 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. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Projects can be up to two years in duration.
Concept proposals are due February 26, 2016.

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Permalink Washington Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Washington State Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for an estimated $4 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding. Projects should enhance the competitiveness of Washington's specialty crops and must clearly and directly impact Washington state specialty crop producers or processors. Eligible organizations include industry associations; producer groups; commodity commissions; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities; and educational institutions. Requests must fall between $25,000 and $250,000 per project.
Concept proposals are due February 26, 2016.

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Permalink Frontera Farmer Foundation Grants

The Frontera Farmer Foundation is committed to promoting small, sustainable Midwestern farms serving the Chicago area, by providing them with capital development grants. The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants for capital improvements of up to $12,000 to small and medium-size, individually owned farms that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Farmers must have been in business for at least three years and must demonstrate how the grant will improve both their farm's viability and the availability of locally grown food products in the Chicago area. Grant applicants will be judged on the basis of demonstrated need, long-term dedication to sustainable farming, creative and business acumen, and commitment to sustainability.
Applications must be received by February 27, 2016.

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Permalink National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Scholarships

Scholarship awards will cover conference registration fees and/or short course registration fees, pending available funds, for the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference June 2-4, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin. All interested attendees are invited to apply for scholarships to reduce the cost of participating in the conference. Scholarships are prioritized for farmers, persons of color, youth, food service professionals, farm to college/hospital providers, and early care and education providers. Additional preference will be given to first-time conference attendees and presenters. Scholarship recipients are required to commit to a volunteer shift during the conference.
Applications are due by February 29, 2016.

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Permalink Good Food Financing Fair

The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference afternoon Financing Fair on March 24 in Chicago provides a dynamic environment where innovative farms and food businesses seeking capital can engage with funders, pitch their business plans, and forge new partnerships. The juried Financing Fair fosters investment in farm and food businesses by connecting entrepreneurs with investors, lenders, and other funders. Businesses selected to participate in the Fair host exhibit tables showcasing information about their companies and, where appropriate, offer samples of their products.
The deadline to apply to participate is February 29, 2016.

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Permalink Blue Hill Peninsula Community Food Grants

The Blue Hill Peninsula Community Food Grants program is now accepting proposals for projects or programs intended to increase food sustainability and improve the health and well-being of Blue Hill Peninsula (Maine) residents. Successful applications will be those that place an emphasis on creating a more just and sustainable local food system through food production, education, or related projects. Nonprofit organizations, schools, community groups, or individuals can apply to receive grants of up to $3,000.
The deadline for applications is February 29, 2016.

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Permalink Leopold Conservation Award in Nebraska

Sand County Foundation proudly presents its Leopold Conservation Award to a private landowner who exemplifies the spirit of a land ethic—an individual or a family committed to enhancing the natural resources that are in their care. The Leopold Conservation Award winner receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. Leopold Conservation Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspire other landowners through their example, and help the general public understand the vital role private landowners can and do play in conservation success. Nebraska landowners can be nominated for the award by themselves or others.
Application deadline is March 1, 2016.

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Permalink Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Compliance

FDA announces the availability of funding and requests applications for Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training for the purpose of enhancing Food Safety and FSMA Compliance in fiscal year 2016. Projects will research and identify training, outreach and education and technical assistance needs, deliver outreach and training, and develop and adapt materials that facilitate the integration and understanding of federal food safety regulations and guidance among owners and operators of small and mid-size farms and businesses involved in local food production and processing, while taking into account diversified, sustainable, organic and identity-preserved agricultural production and processing practices.
A letter of intent is due by March 4, 2016.

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Permalink Leopold Conservation Award in South Dakota

Sand County Foundation, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition are accepting applications for the Leopold Conservation Award program in South Dakota. The $10,000 award honors South Dakota farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves.
Nominations must be postmarked by March 4, 2016.

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Permalink Minnesota Value Added Grant Program

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for funding through the state’s Value Added Grant program. The grants are designed to help farmers, producers, and processors add value to their operations and the state’s agricultural economy. Eligible applicants must be involved in production, processing or marketing Minnesota agricultural products. Farmers, businesses, agricultural cooperatives, or local government entities operating farmers markets or food hubs are eligible. The grant reimburses up to 25% of the total project cost with a maximum award of $150,000 and a minimum of $1,000. Equipment purchases and facility improvements are eligible.
Applications must be received by March 8, 2016.

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Permalink Texas Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Texas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for funding for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops pertaining to the following issues affecting the industry: Food Safety, Marketing, Nutrition, Plant Health, or Value Added/Industry Development. Responses will only be accepted from producer, industry, or community-based organizations involved with, or that promote, specialty crops. Project funds may only be used for activities benefiting specialty crops.
Applications must be received by March 10, 2016.

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Permalink Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)

USDA is accepting applications for $17.6 million in funding to support research and outreach activities that will help growers, producers, and processors find innovative ways to improve organic agriculture. The purpose of the OREI program is to fund 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.
Applications are due March 10, 2016.

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Permalink Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has announced the availability of matching grant funds for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of Vermont's specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and horticulture and nursery crops. Any entity may apply, but projects must benefit more than one individual, business or organization. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture will award approximately $200,000 in SCBGP funds in 2016. Funding priorities are listed online.
Letters of intent must be submitted by March 11, 2016.

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Permalink New York New Farmer Profit Teams

Beginning farmers in New York State who have been farming for at least three years can apply to receive support for a New Farmer Profit Team. This initiative seeks to improve the long-term success of advanced beginning farmers by providing selected farmers with customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals (financial, production, legal, marketing, etc.) over an 18-month to two-year period. The project has up to $2,000 available per farm to pay these advisors and requires a 20% match from the farmer. Applicants can be engaged in the production and sale of any food, fiber, or ornamental agricultural crop but must have grossed at least $10,000 in sales in 2015. In this final round, 16 farms will be chosen.
The application deadline is March 15, 2016.

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Permalink Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) Program

The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) program seeks to: (a) promote and strengthen secondary education and two-year postsecondary education in agriscience and agribusiness in order to help ensure the existence in the United States of a qualified workforce to serve the food and agricultural sciences system; and (b) promote complementary and synergistic linkages among secondary, two-year postsecondary, and higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences in order to advance excellence in education and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food and agricultural sciences. Applications may only be submitted by: (1) public secondary schools, (2) public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges, (3) institutions of higher education, or (4) nonprofit organizations.
Applications are due March 18, 2016.

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Permalink NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is offering pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, undergraduate fellowships, and professional development for secondary school teachers and educational professionals through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative. Funded fellowships will span the six challenge areas identified by AFRI: childhood obesity prevention, climate change, food safety, food security, sustainable bioenergy and water. The fellowship program also will fund projects that contain well-developed and highly-engaged mentoring and training activities. Grants for colleges and universities to develop training programs for secondary school teachers and education professionals, such as counselors and administrators, aim to provide immersive learning experiences for the grantees to create and replicate best practices to improve student success within the food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences.
Applications for professional development grants are due March 18, 2016.

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Permalink NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is offering pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, undergraduate fellowships, and professional development for secondary school teachers and educational professionals through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative. Funded fellowships will span the six challenge areas identified by AFRI: childhood obesity prevention, climate change, food safety, food security, sustainable bioenergy and water. The fellowship program also will fund projects that contain well-developed and highly-engaged mentoring and training activities.
Applications for undergraduate fellowships are due March 24, 2016.

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