Funding opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants in Rhode Island

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has up to $160,000 of funding available in Rhode Island for eligible individuals, local and state governments, non-governmental organizations, and tribes through Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). These grants are intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection. The funding floor for a single award is $10,000 and the funding ceiling is $150,000. CIG recipients must provide a non-federal funding match. The proposal must involve Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern in one of the following categories: aquatic resources and wildlife, urban farms, water quality and quantity, soil health, and improved energy efficiency. The application deadline is May 18, 2021.

 

Western SARE Research and Education Grants

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting proposals for Research and Education Grants. A researcher and at least three producers work together to develop a proposal to conduct both research and education on a sustainable agriculture topic. The project budget is $350,000 maximum, with project length of one to three years. Projects must incorporate research and education, and bring together a team of researchers, students, ag professionals, and producers. Principal Investigators need to reside in the Western region. Proposals are due by May 20, 2021.

 

Pennsylvania Center for Poultry & Livestock Excellence

In Pennsylvania, $445,000 is available through the 2020 PA Farm Bill for research projects to enhance biosecurity, diagnostic testing, veterinary telemedicine, and other strategies to prevent, detect, and manage animal diseases and protect the food supply. The funding is designated for the following priorities: $380,000 for managing disease outbreaks, implementing biosecurity, and veterinary telemedicine. Meanwhile, $50,000 is allocated for SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis of Pennsylvania animal agriculture, including small ruminants, swine, poultry, dairy, and beef. Finally, an additional $15,000 is available for sponsorship of events with a statewide impact with the goal of enhancing poultry, swine, lamb, sheep, and goat production. Applications are due by May 21, 2021.

 

Kansas Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Funds awarded to the Department are in turn granted to projects and organizations to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops; assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops; expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and addressing local, regional and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers. In 2021, Kansas has been allocated more than $338,000 for this program. Applications are due by May 21, 2021.

 

Acer Access and Development Program

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) requests applications for the fiscal year 2021 Acer Access and Development Program. AMS will competitively award grants to eligible applicants for projects that support the efforts of States, Tribal governments, and research institutions to promote the domestic maple syrup industry through the following types of activities: promotion of research and education related to maple syrup production; promotion of natural resource sustainability in the maple syrup industry; market promotion for maple syrup and maple-sap products; encouragement of owners and operators of privately held land containing species of trees in the genus Acer to initiate or expand maple-sugaring activities on the land; or to voluntarily make the land available for access by the public for maple-sugaring activities. Approximately $6 million will be available. The maximum award is $500,000. Applications are due May 24, 2021.

 

Regional Conservation Partnership Program's Alternative Funding Arrangements

USDA is seeking proposals to fund up to $75 million in new, unique projects under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program's (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will prioritize projects related to climate smart agriculture and forestry. NRCS will fund up to 15 projects this year through AFA, where partners have more flexibility in working directly with agricultural producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches that would not otherwise be effectively implemented through the classic RCPP. NRCS also strongly encourages proposals that address the conservation needs of urban farmers in metropolitan areas, supporting access to healthy fresh food in historically underserved communities. Project proposals will be accepted through May 28, 2021.

 

Agroforestry Outreach

The U.S. Forest Service is requesting Agroforestry Outreach proposals to substantially expand and accelerate the availability of science-based information to inform landowner decisions on the adoption and design of agroforestry systems. Funding is available for projects that will create educational and outreach materials that support agroforestry. Awards are anticipated to be up to $100,000, with a minimum of $35,000 for any one project. A 1:1 funding match is required. A list of project topics eligible for funding is available online. The application deadline is May 28, 2021.

 

Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) is accepting applications for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Grants Program. LASA provides grants that directly benefit and strengthen the local food system in Rhode Island by supporting the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood. The RIDEM Division of Agriculture will award between $160,000 and $240,000 in this grant round, with a maximum individual award of $20,000. Eligible entities include for-profit farmers, fishermen/women, producer groups, and nonprofit organizations. Funding priorities for this year are listed online and include supporting beginning and BIPOC producers. Applications are due May 30, 2021.

 

Conservation Innovation Grants in Missouri

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri is accepting applications for a total of $300,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Non-federal entities and individuals are invited to apply for grants up to $150,000. The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. Priorities this year are grazing land and inventory assessments, soil health, native plant communities in grasslands, and precision agriculture. Applications are due by May 31, 2021.

 

Texas Partners for Conservation Program

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is accepting applications for the Texas Partners for Conservation Program. The funding floor is $25,000, and the ceiling is $75,000. Both Conservation Technical Assistance projects and Outreach projects are eligible for funding. Priorities are listed online and include a focus on reaching historically underserved producers. Applications are due by June 1, 2021.

 

Conservation Innovation Grants in South Carolina

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's South Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service (SC NRCS) will fund $500,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process and eligible applicants include state and local governments, Tribal governments, eligible private businesses, and individuals. There are two emphasis areas: water quality activities which evaluate on-farm field trials and demonstration projects with a focus on the core conservation practices in any watershed in South Carolina; and on-farm trials to improve soil health on cropland and pastureland in any watershed in South Carolina. Up to 10% of the total funds is set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community based organizations comprised of or representing these entities, as well as projects located in 'food deserts.' Award amounts for a single award in FY 2021 will range from $50,000 to $115,000. The call for proposals requires applicants to share at least 50% of total project costs. Applications are due by June 1, 2021.

 

Southern SARE Research & Education Grants

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting pre-proposals for its Research & Education Grants program. Applicants have a choice of whether they want to submit a systems research-based pre-proposal, or an education-based pre-proposal. The education grant is open to anyone in agriculture interested in conducting education and outreach activities for the benefit of the greater sustainable ag community. Non-governmental organizations are especially encouraged to apply for this grant for their education and outreach activities. SSARE is looking for Education pre-proposals of around $50,000. Research pre-proposals focus on sustainable agriculture based on a systems approach to research, which aims to understand how the components of a system interact with each other and function as a whole. The central purpose of research proposals is research-based projects with an educational/outreach component involved to share project results. SSARE is looking for systems research pre-proposals of around $400,000, though smaller proposals are also welcomed. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is June 4, 2021.

 

Tennessee Conservation Agreements

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tennessee has announced that $400,000 is available for Conservation Agreements ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. Conservation agreements are for projects of one to five years that improve and increase soil health; improve and increase water quality; improve the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands; address air quality concerns and carbon sequestration needs; develop quality conservation plans for effective grazing land practices; and develop, plan, and implement effective forestry practices and standards. Applications are due by June 4, 2021.

 

Tennessee Urban Conservation Grants

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tennessee is accepting applications for $150,000 in Urban Conservation grants. The Tennessee NRCS Urban Conservation Project is an effort to challenge local Conservation Districts, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, institutions of higher learning and other community partners to establish pollinator habitats and establish gardens for food production and for the establishment of seasonal high tunnels to extend the growing season of fruits and vegetables. Grants up to $5,000 will be available to fund the creation of a community and/or urban garden; grants up to $5,000 will be available for pollinator gardens/habitat creation; and grants up to $10,000 will be available for construction of a high tunnel. The application deadline is June 7, 2021.

 

Tennessee Collaborative Outreach Agreements

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tennessee is accepting applications for Collaborative Outreach Agreements. The purpose of these Collaborative Outreach Agreements is to leverage resources with Tennesseeís partners to provide Farm Bill outreach and increase the delivery of conservation assistance to historically underserved communities through a combination of program outreach and education activities. Proposals will be accepted from eligible entities for projects located in Tennessee. Eligible entities include local conservation districts, tribal governments, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations and institutions of higher learning. A total of $100,000 is available, with individual awards ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. Applications are due June 7, 2021.

 

South Dakota Conservation Collaboration Funding

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) serving South Dakota is seeking proposals for both Conservation Collaboration Grant Agreements (CCGA) or Conservation Collaboration Cooperative Agreements (CCCA) to help address the state's most pressing natural resource concerns. Projects should leverage partner resources to improve soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, or the environmental and economic performance of working agricultural lands, or to assist communities and groups to build and strengthen local food projects that provide healthy food and economic opportunities. Cooperative Agreements proposals are due June 8, 2021. Grant Agreements proposals are due June 11, 2021.

 

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) requests applications for the fiscal year 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to award grants to eligible State departments of agriculture to carry out projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Not including AMS administrative costs, approximately $72.9 million in annual Farm Bill funding is available for applications under this solicitation. An additional $97 million provided by Congress due to COVID-19 impacts to the food system is also available for applications under this solicitation. Application is only open to state departments of agriculture. Individuals and organizations interested in Specialty Crop Block Grants should contact their respective state departments to learn about eligibility requirements and application deadlines. Applications are due June 11, 2021.

 

Next Generation Black and Hispanic Farmers Scholarship Program

The National Black Farmers Association is accepting applications for the Next Generation Black and Hispanic Farmers Scholarship Program. The award includes tuition for up to 30 credit hours per academic year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with housing, meal plan, and textbook stipend. Applicants must be Black, African American, or Hispanic high school student farmers with a verifiable family farm operation and commit to farming on the family farm upon college graduation. The Scholarship Selection Committee will select up to 25 scholarship recipients based on academic performance; demonstrated leadership and participation in agricultural activities, school organizations, community activities; and a personal narrative detailing career and educational goals and objectives. Applications are due by June 15, 2021.

 

On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking proposals for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials that feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches. NRCS is seeking proposals that address at least one of the following four On-Farm Trial priorities: climate-smart agricultural solutions, soil health demonstration trial, irrigation water management, or management technologies and strategies. NRCS will invest up to $25 million on On-Farm Trials in 2021. This total includes up to $10 million for the Soil Health Demonstration Trials priority. Proposals are due by June 21, 2021.

 

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