ATTRA's COVID-19 statement

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Funding opportunities

Farm Aid Northeast BIPOC Farmers Relief Fund

The Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund is now accepting applications from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) folks living in the Northeast who work in agriculture and have been economically impacted by the COVID crisis. In order to be eligible for funding, you must: Identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color); Work on a farm, ranch, in agriculture, or as a fisherperson; Live in any of the following states or tribal land in this region: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC; and Have been impacted economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are due by August 10, 2020.


Minnesota AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grants

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $124,000 through two new Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) mini-grants to respond to the disruptions COVID-19 has caused in traditional Farm to School markets. Farm to School Rapid Response for Schools Grants are intended for school districts to begin, diversify, and expand purchasing from Minnesota producers during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily during the summer and fall 2020. School districts may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 and there is no match required. Meanwhile, AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response for Food Vendors Grants are intended to support equipment purchases for food vendors that will help them to meet the product needs of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Agricultural producers (farmers, ranchers, agricultural cooperatives), restaurants, processors, food hubs, food distributors, and food service management companies are eligible to apply. Food vendors may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 and there is a 1:1 match requirement. Funding will be prioritized to support Minnesota's Emerging Farmers, including Black, Indigenous, Farmers of Color, beginning farmers, women, and veterans. Applications for both mini-grants will be reviewed twice monthly through August 12, 2020, or until funds run out.


South Dakota Nutrient Research and Education Council Grant Program

The South Dakota Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) grant program solicits and publishes research of science-based nutrient management practices specific to South Dakota. Research must be done in South Dakota. Topics of interest include research on fertilizer recommendations in no-till crop production systems for corn, soybeans, and small grains; micronutrients; nitrogen stabilizers; and fertilizer placement. Applications are due by August 14, 2020. ?


Dairy Business Innovation Alliance

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) will provide Midwestern dairy farmers and dairy-related businesses with financial and technical support. This initiative, a joint effort coordinated by the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), was designed to support and promote the diversification and addition of value-added products to the Midwest dairy industry. Goals of this program include increasing on-farm diversification, creating value-added dairy products such as specialty cheeses, and focusing on export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products. Funds totaling $220,000 will be disbursed and awarded with individual projects receiving up to $20,000. Applications are due by August 14, 2020.


Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge

The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition that showcases U.S. startups developing innovative solutions that address challenges facing America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. The American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Credit are looking to identify the top entrepreneurs who are addressing both traditional challenges farmers face on their operation, such as access to labor, optimizing yield and reducing operating costs, to entrepreneurs who are addressing new challenges facing farmers and rural communities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Farm Bureau will award $145,000 in startup funds to 10 businesses. Applications will be accepted through August 14, 2020.


Livestock Conservancy Heritage Livestock Microgrant

The Livestock Conservancy is accepting applications for grants in two categories of the Heritage Livestock Microgrant program. National microgrants are available to residents and organizations of the U.S. working with livestock and poultry breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List. Awards typically range from $500 to $2,000, at the discretion of The Livestock Conservancy. Additionally, youth microgrants are available for individuals 8 to 18 years of agewho are actively working with breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List. Support will be provided through this competitive program for a variety of farm-related operations, including, but not limited to, livestock; poultry; processing; milk, meat, and egg production and sales; agri-tourism; wool milling; promotions; and marketing. The submission deadline is August 16, 2020.


Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP)

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting sign-ups for a new pilot program that enables farmers in the Prairie Pothole region to receive payments for planting perennial cover for conservation use for three to five years. The new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) pilot is available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Through SHIPP, producers have the option of three-, four-, or five-year CRP contracts to establish perennial cover on less productive cropland in exchange for payments. This pilot enables producers to plant perennial cover that, among other benefits, will improve soil health and water quality while having the option to harvest, hay, and graze during certain times of the year. Up to 50,000 acres can be enrolled. The signup for this pilot starts March 30 and ends August 21, 2020.


Centers of Community Prosperity Initiative

USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement announced the availability of approximately $4 million in funding through the Centers of Community Prosperity Initiative, to develop partnerships to leverage USDA and local, state, and private-sector resources to address challenges for limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers and communities. Community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities may compete for Community Prosperity funding on projects that provide outreach, education and training in agriculture, conservation, agribusiness, and forestry, with a focus on economic and workforce development, innovation and technology, and quality of life through food and agriculture. The deadline for applications is August 24, 2020.


Assist Persistent Poverty Farmers, Ranchers, Agriculture Producers and Communities through Agriculture Resources

USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach is accepting proposals from nonprofits, Tribes, and institutions of higher education to assist persistent poverty farmers, ranchers, agriculture producers and communities through agriculture resources. Funding will be made available for the purpose of leveraging USDA, state, local, and private-sector resources, to address local agricultural and natural resource issues, encourage collaboration, and to develop state and local leadership and partnerships to assist limited resource and socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers, and communities through agriculture industries. The eligible entities will provide technical assistance to identified persistent poverty communities, with emphasis on socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers to assist them in establishing a local working leaders group, identifying issues, challenges, and assets, preparing a plan of action, and identifying resources and means to address and accomplish results through available programmatic services and opportunities. A total of $4 million is available; the project maximum is $450,000. Proposals are due by August 24, 2020.


Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach is inviting applications for Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (also known as the 2501 program). The overall goal of the 2501 Program is to encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, veteran farmers and ranchers, and beginning farmers and ranchers with owning and operating farms and ranches and in participating equitably in the full range of agricultural, forestry, and related programs offered by USDA. In partnership with the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, eligible entities may compete for funding on projects that provide education and training in agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, agriculturally related services, and USDA programs and to conduct outreach initiatives designed to accomplish those goals. Eligible applicants include nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and Tribal governments. Funding ranges from $50,000 to $450,000. Applications are due by August 26, 2020.


Kentucky On-Farm Energy Efficiency Incentives Program

Kentucky's On-Farm Energy Efficiency Incentives Program provides funding for Kentucky farm families to increase the energy efficiency of existing equipment or facilities. A third-party audit by an approved professional engineer or certified energy manager is required with the application. Applicants are eligible for reimbursement up to $150 for the third-party audit. Applicants will be limited to 50% reimbursement for the eligible expenditures, not to exceed $10,000 within program year, plus an additional $150 for the energy audit. There are three application deadlines each year; the next is August 28, 2020.


Minnesota Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost Share Program

The Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost Share Program provides financial assistance to Minnesota U-Pick Operations, On-Farm Markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms to purchase supplies and equipment to prepare for safe sales on their farms and pick-up sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota Department of Agriculture encourages pick-your-own berry farms, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, CSA farms, and on-site farm stands to apply. To be eligible, you must be a current or new Minnesota Grown member. With this program, you may purchase equipment or supplies that will help you follow the Guidance for Minnesota U-Pick Operations and On-Farm Markets. If you are a farm that meets the applicant eligibility criteria, you may be reimbursed up to $250 for eligible expenses. Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first.


Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grant

Southern SARE is accepting pre-proposals for the Professional Development Program Grant. This program provides funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include webinars, seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distribution of training materials. Activities may take place in a single Southern Region state, multiple states, or the entire Southern Region. Priority will be given to proposals less than $80,000. Pre-proposals are due August 31, 2020.


Massachusetts Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program

The goal of Massachusetts' Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program is to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to food, with a special focus on food that is produced locally and equitable access to food. The program also seeks to ensure that farmers, fishermen, and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption. Eligible grantees include entities that are part of the Massachusetts local food system, including production, processing and distribution, the emergency food distribution network, community and food organizations, school meal programming (including summer meal sponsors), urban farms and community gardens, non-profits, and organizations that provide business planning, technical assistance, and information technology services. Applicants may be those representing farms, small retailers (under 50 full-and part-time employees), food banks, fisheries, seafood dealers and processors, and other food system businesses or organizations who are facing disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and face difficulty in bringing their food to market. Funding is anticipated to be awarded in amounts up to $500,000 (no minimum). Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis through September 15, 2020.


Pennsylvania Conservation Excellence Grants

Lancaster and York County farmers in Pennsylvania are invited to apply for up to $250,000 in Conservation Excellence Grants. The $2.5 million program, created by the 2019 PA Farm Bill, funds on-farm measures that reduce erosion and run-off, improving soil and water quality to ultimately sustain agriculture and improve the region's quality of life. Some examples of eligible measures include fencing to keep livestock out of streams, streambank restoration, cover crops, planted streamside buffers to filter nutrients out of streams, manure storage, and comprehensive plans to manage nutrients, control erosion, and conserve soil and water. Funding will support technical assistance and the installation of these and other high-impact Best Management Practices. Funds may be made available to farms in other counties if available. Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2020, and evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants

Michigan Economic Development Corporation has two Agricultural Safety Grants available: MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant Program for farms with less than 10 employees and Agriculture Safety Grant for farms with 10 or more employees. These grants fund COVID-19 mitigation costs. The MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant Program will award $1.25 million in grants to eligible applicants. The Agriculture Safety Grant Program includes $10 million in grant funding for eligible agricultural processors and $5 million in grant funding for eligible farms from federal CARES act funding. For the Agriculture Safety Grant, agricultural processors will be eligible for a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $200,000. Farms will be eligible for a minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $50,000. For the MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant, farms are eligible for a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $9,000. Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Once funds are exhausted, no further grants will be issued.


Oregon's Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program

The COVID-19 emergency caused Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) to issue temporary rules requiring increased field sanitation measures and more stringent labor housing and transportation regulations. The Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program provides financial assistance to comply with these increased measures during peak harvest. Producers faced with additional costs for housing, transporation, and field sanitation can apply for assistance in any or all of these categories, up to a total of $21,000. The program will accept applications until October 25, 2020.


Small Business Administration Disaster Loans in Response to Coronavirus

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state's or territory's Governor, SBA will issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. This makes loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Note that eligible businesses include small agricultural cooperatives and producer cooperatives, but not agricultural enterprises. SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. A list of areas eligible for these disaster loans is available online.


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