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Funding opportunities

Kentucky State University Small-Scale Farm Grant Program

The Kentucky State University Small-Scale Farm Grant Program helps farmers who want to improve their farming operations, improve the marketability of their products with value-added enterprise, and who want to further their farming and agricultural knowledge through educational trainings. The Small-Scale Farm Grant is available for operations in the following priority areas: Aquaculture & Aquaponics, Certified Organic Agriculture, Value-Added Products, Food-Insecure Area Production, Agroforestry, and Farmer Education Assistance. The maximum funds available per farm household or business is $5,000 per application with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. Applicants may also be eligible for up to $500 for educational trainings or materials. The next application deadline is April 1, 2020.


North Central Region SARE Professional Development Grant Program

The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Grant Program supports state professional development programs and competitive grants for training agricultural professionals. Professional Development Program (PDP) competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and nonprofit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community. Project awards have a maximum of $90,000, and approximately $900,000 will be available for funding projects. Proposals are due April 2, 2020.


Pennsylvania Farm Vitality Planning Grant

Pennsylvania's Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. Farmers and prospective farmers are eligible to apply for reimbursement grants up to $7,500 and 75% of project costs. The Department of Agriculture will provide up to $1 million for program grants in the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year. Grants may be used for creating business plans, transition of ownership plans, diversification or expansion plans, and other planning projects specified. The application period is open until April 3, 2020.


AFRI Pollinator Health: Research and Application

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)—Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. One of those program areas is Plant Health and Production and Plant Products, and within that area, a priority focus is Pollinator Health: Research and Application. This program supports single-function projects (research, extension, or education) with the goal of promoting healthy populations of animal pollinators in agricultural systems where reliance of crops on pollinators for pollination services is increasing and where decline of pollinators is evident. Grants up to $500,000 are available. The application deadline has been extended to April 9, 2020.


North Central Region SARE Graduate Student Grants

Graduate students enrolled at colleges or universities in the North Central region can submit proposals for Graduate Student Grants up to $15,000 to fund sustainable agriculture projects that will be part of their educational programs. North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) expects to fund about 20 projects in the 12-state North Central region. Previously funded proposals have contributed to farmer or rancher profitability, environmental quality, and the enhancement of the quality of life of farmers or ranchers, their communities, and society as a whole. NCR-SARE strongly encourages students to involve farmers and ranchers in their projects. Proposals must be submitted by April 9, 2020.


Northeast SARE Partnership Grant Program

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting proposals for its Partnership Grant Program. The Partnership Grant Program funds projects conducted by agricultural service providers including researchers, educators, nonprofit staff, and others who work in direct partnership with farmers. Projects may conduct research, demonstrations, and education to address current challenges to the health of farming and food systems in the Northeast or to strengthen working partnerships between farmers and agricultural service providers. Partnership Grants are capped at $30,000. All projects must be conducted in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia. Proposals are due by April 14, 2020.


Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for the Graduate Student Research Grant Program that supports graduate student research focused on sustainable agriculture topics. The grant is open to all graduate students enrolled at accredited colleges, universities, and veterinary schools in the Northeast region. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years. Proposals are due by April 21, 2020.


Special Research Grants Program—Aquaculture Research

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for $1.2 million in competitive grants through the Special Research Grants Program—Aquaculture Research. This program funds applied aquaculture research projects to address issues related to the following: 1) Genetics of commercial aquaculture species; 2) Critical disease issues impacting commercial aquaculture species; 3) Design of environmentally and economically sustainable commercial aquaculture production systems; or 4) Economic research for increasing commercial aquaculture profitability. NIFA is soliciting applied aquaculture research applications that directly address major constraints to the United States aquaculture industry. Applications are due by April 22, 2020.


California Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Projects

Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Demonstration Projects aim to improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) by funding on-farm demonstration projects that collect data and/or showcase conservation management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and increase soil health, and creating a platform promoting widespread adoption of conservation management practices throughout the state. Type A projects demonstrate implementation of conservation management practices, measure field GHGs emissions, and conduct analysis on cost/benefits for adoption of the proposed practice(s) and anticipated barriers. Type B projects demonstrate implementation of HSP conservation management practices and/or conduct analysis on cost/benefits for adoption of the proposed practice(s) and anticipated barriers. Applications are due by April 23, 2020.


American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund

To help directly support farmers impacted by the current crisis, American Farmland Trust (AFT) is launching a Farmer Relief Fund. A full 100% of donations to the fund will go directly to farmers. AFT's Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers cash grants up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs. Applications are due by April 23, 2020.


Russell Libby Agricultural Scholar Awards

MOFGA is awarding three $1,500 scholarships to honor the late Russell Libby, who led the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for 17 years and dedicated his life to growing the organic food movement. The scholarships offer support to students seeking to deepen their knowledge of organic and sustainable farm systems. One scholarship will support a MOFGA Journeyperson Program participant, one goes to a Maine High School Senior planning to study sustainable or organic farming (preference for colleges in Maine), and one goes to a teacher, school, or education center looking to support an agricultural-related project in Maine, such as a campus garden, classroom project, or a guest lecturer. Applications are due by April 24, 2020.


Organic Transition Grants

CCOF Foundation is offering grants for organic transition in partnership with Anheuser Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program. Producers of all crop types eligible for organic certification are encouraged to apply for $5,000 grants. The applicant must have a minimum of three years of farming experience and demonstrated intent to farm organically. Priority will be given to farmers with at least five years of production experience, as well as applicants who are underrepresented in the organic industry, including women, people of color, veterans, farm workers, and people with disabilities. Priority is also given for demonstrated financial need and for having a transition plan. Applications close April 30, 2020.


California Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program

The California Strategic Growth Council is accepting grant applications for projects that protect agricultural land and reduce greenhouse gases. California's Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program complements investments made in urban areas with the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, development of agricultural land strategy plans, and other mechanisms that result in GHG reductions and a more resilient agricultural sector. The program invests in agricultural land conservation with revenue from the California Climate ?Investments Fund?, made available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. Prospective applicants must submit concept proposals for acquisition projects by April 30, 2020.


Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence Team Program Grants

Pennsylvania's Center for Dairy Excellence is accepting applications from dairy producers who are looking for an outside perspective and a team approach to decision-making. Three different team program grants allow dairy producers to establish on-farm teams and take advantage of professional consulting resources. The grants allow dairy farmers to establish a Dairy Profit, Transition, or Transformation Team that consists of industry experts and trusted advisors. Dairy farms can receive up to $2,000 in reimbursements for Dairy Profit teams, up to $3,000 for Dairy Transition teams, and up to $5,000 for a Dairy Transformation team. A $100 application fee is required for all On-Farm Resource Programs and a demonstrated in-kind or financial match. The grant period is open until May 31, 2020.


Mini-Grants for North Carolina Farmers Impacted by COVID-19

RAFI-USA will be distributing emergency mini-grants of $500 to farmers who are drastically impacted by market sales disruptions caused by COVID-19. Funding is currently limited to farmers located in North Carolina.


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.


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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