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Funding Opportunities



May 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 Montana Growth Through Agriculture Mini Grants

The Mini Grant program was developed to encourage economic and agricultural development through education, promotion, marketing, and travel. The Mini Grant Program works to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry. Through small grants, the program assists in the development of innovative agricultural products and processes to add value to the agriculture industry, create new jobs, and expand small business opportunities. Mini Grant Projects may be funded a maximum amount of $2,500.
Applications are due June 1, 2016.

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Permalink Kentucky Specialty Crop Block Grant

Kentucky Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants. 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 should show how the proposed project would produce measurable benefits for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than just a single entity.
Applications must be postmarked by 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 Conservation Innovation Grants in New Hampshire

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in NH to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications will be accepted for projects that will directly benefit Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)-eligible individuals or entities in New Hampshire. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2016 will be approximately $150,000. Applications 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. Focus areas are listed online and include soil health, grazing management, and water quality.
Pre-proposals are due 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 Southern SARE Research & Education Grants

Research & Education Grants are competitive research grants for teams of interdisciplinary researchers that encourage a systems approach in sustainable agriculture. Teams of researchers from public and private institutions, such as 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities; government agencies; USDA-ARS; non-governmental organizations; and community-based organizations are eligible to apply for funding ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. Systems-oriented research must address production, post-harvest food-systems research, or a combination of the two.
Pre-proposals are due June 3, 2016.

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Permalink Southern SARE Professional Development Program

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting applications for Professional Development Program grants. The Professional Development Program 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 June 3, 2016.

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Permalink Louisiana Conservation Innovation Grant

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. In Louisiana, the amount available for support of this program in FY 2016 will be up to $75,000 per accepted proposal, with up to two proposals awarded (for a total of $150,000). 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. 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.
Applications are due by June 3, 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 Minnesota Value-Added Feasibility Study Grant

Grant funding is available for Minnesota residents or businesses interested in studying the feasibility of a new venture to add value to an agricultural commodity or product. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Value-Added Feasibility Study Grant will reimburse eligible farmers and farm networks, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural businesses, and others up to 50% of the costs for a third party consultant to conduct the feasibility study, with a maximum award of $35,000.
The submission deadline is on a first come, first served basis through June 15, 2016.

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Permalink Conservation Innovation Grants in California

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $375,000 is available for one- to three-year grants. CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. The proposed projects should augment existing NRCS technical tools (planning, assessment, and/or delivery) to better facilitate conservation on farms and ranches. Eligible applicants include state and local government, nongovernment organizations, Tribal governments, eligible private business and individuals.
Proposals are due by June 17, 2016.

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Permalink Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

This program administered by USDA Rural Development improves 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. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for matching grants up to $200,000 to operate a Rural Cooperative Development Center.
Electronic applications are due June 20, 2016.

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Permalink Northeast SARE Professional Development Grants

The Professional Development program funds outcome-based projects that train Cooperative Extension educators and other agricultural service providers in the Northeast SARE region in sustainable techniques and concepts. Awards typically range from $30,000 to $150,000 and average $75,000. Anyone in the Northeast region can apply for a Professional Development grant, but applicants should have direct and substantial experience delivering agricultural education to extension and other agricultural service providers.
Preproposals are due June 23, 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 Risk Management Education Partnerships Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced that $4.3 million in funding is available for the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program, which provides money for the development of general nationwide crop insurance education as well as other risk management training programs for producers. A broad range of risk management training activities are eligible for funding consideration. Training can also focus on educating producers on the federal crop insurance program and options resulting from Farm Bill provisions. The agreements will also help train farmers at all levels on risk management options that help secure local food systems and strengthen rural communities. In particular, RMA seeks to fund projects that include innovative approaches in product delivery toward the priorities listed in the funding opportunity.
Applications are due by July 3, 2016.

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Permalink Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) is making $4.4 million available for the Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program. The program backs development of crop insurance education programs where there is a low level of federal
crop insurance participation and availability. The targeted states are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. This program funds projects through which producers will receive assistance in understanding and using crop insurance programs and other tools so they can make the best risk management decisions for their agricultural operations. Past award recipients have included universities, county cooperative extension offices and nonprofit organizations.
Applications are due by July 3, 2016.

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

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) seeks proposals to further support and expand FSA's existing outreach and education efforts. The additional outreach and education could, for example, be public meetings, training sessions, and/or workshops for producers including new and beginning farmers, veterans, underserved communities, and/or established producers. Emphasis will be afforded to proposals that propose to address producers who are ethnic minorities, women, new and beginning, veterans, urban, or who grow non-commodity crops (e.g., fruits and vegetables or specialty crops). Proposals may include innovative outreach approaches that ease the learning curve for farmers and ranchers through training on best practices, common challenges and solutions, and local networking opportunities. The subject matter should include an introduction to FSA, its programs, and common provisions that generally apply. Public and State controlled institutions of higher education and nonprofits can apply for a total of $2.5 million, in cooperative agreements up to $99,999.
Applications are due by July 11, 2016.

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Permalink Agriculture and Food Research Initiative--Water for Agriculture Challenge Area

This Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Challenge Area addresses critical water resources issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding, quality, and others in an agricultural context. Funding will be used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, public decision makers, public and private managers, and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality. Priority funding areas are identified online. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2016 is approximately $10.7 million.
Application deadline is August 4, 2016.

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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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