Funding opportunities

Boulder County Sustainable Food and Agriculture Fund

Boulder County, Colorado, is offering $305,000 in Sustainability Tax funds for sustainability-focused initiatives that will address the priority needs of local farmers and agriculture producers. Boulder County invites farmers, agricultural producers, the private sector, and non-profit organizations to apply for this one-time capital grant funding to undertake environmental sustainability projects that benefit Boulder County agricultural lands. Acceptable projects include the following four types: On-farm regenerative agriculture and soil health practices; Farmer/producer education, conferences, and workshops that focus on sustainable and regenerative agriculture demonstrations; On-farm and farmers market infrastructure; and Sustainable local food and crop production. Any registered business, official non-profit organization, or government entity can apply for funding at a minimum of $40,000 to a maximum of $150,000 per project. Applications are due by January 27, 2020.


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

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting applications for Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training for Enhancing Food Safety and FSMA Compliance. The primary objective of this cooperative agreement is to provide training, education, and outreach; address training gaps (e.g., by developing training materials); and facilitate identification of appropriate technical assistance resources for local food producers and processors related to applicable federal preventive controls regulations under FSMA, especially the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food rules. FDA/CFSAN intends to fund this grant program with $2 million for fiscal year 2020. Applications are due by January 28, 2020.


Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

NIFA requests applications for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high-quality organic agricultural products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. The OREI is particularly interested in projects that emphasize research, education, and outreach that assist farmers and ranchers with whole-farm planning by delivering practical research-based information. Applications are due by January 30, 2020.


Four Corners Slow Money Food Enterprise Micro-Loans 2020

Four Corners Slow Money provides zero-interest loans to farmers and food enterprises contributing to a healthy local food system in the Four Corners Region. The maximum loan amount is $3,000. Applications are due by January 30, 2020.


Food System Vision Prize

The Rockefeller Foundation has partnered with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO on the Food System Vision Prize. Organizations, universities, institutions, companies, governments, cooperatives, and partnerships from around the world are invited to develop a vision of the regenerative and nourishing food system that they aspire to create by the year 2050. A prize of $2 million will be distributed among 10 winners. Prize participants may submit their visions at any point during the open submission phase and are encouraged to publish an initial post of their submission by the early submission deadline, December 5, 2019. The last day to apply is January 31, 2019.


Minnesota Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants

Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of $60,000 for Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants to Minnesota livestock farmers. Eligible expenses for the grant program will include any or all of the following items: purchase of guard animals; veterinary costs for guard animals; the installation of wolf barriers including pens, fladry, and fencing; the installation of wolf-deterring lights and alarms; calving or lambing shelters; or other measures demonstrated to effectively reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. Applications are due by January 31, 2020.


Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications from state, tribal, and local governments, universities, and public power entities for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The grants support assistance in the form of energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and/or renewable energy site assessments for agricultural producers and rural small businesses in eligible rural areas. The maximum grant amount is $100,000. Applications are due by January 31, 2020.


Lakewinds Organic Field Fund

Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF) is a grant program dedicated to making an impact on local farming and organic food. Funding up to $8,000 is available for furthering the development and sustainability of farms in Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin. Grants support the following types of project proposals: organic certification, transitioning a conventional farm to organic, projects that help a farm scale its offerings, and projects that help a farm improve efficiency or effectiveness. The application deadline is January 31, 2020.


Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon's specialty crops. Nonprofit organizations, local government entities, for-profit organizations, industry trade associations, producer groups, commodity commissions, and public and private colleges/universities are eligible to apply. A range of $25,000 to $175,000 per project is suggested. A list of funding priorities for Oregon is available online. Proposals are due by January 31, 2020.


California Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is accepting proposals for the 2020 grant cycle. FREP's competitive grant program funds research and education to advance the efficient use of fertilizer materials and reduce environmental impacts associated with them. Priorities include the following: technical education, demonstrating and/or validating management practices that optimize nutrient and irrigation management, addressing barriers to adoption of management practices, filling knowledge gaps in nitrogen management for specific crops, research on the role of organic input materials in soil nutrient management, and understanding and investigating mitigation strategies for nitrogen losses. Proposals are due by January 31, 2020.


Nebraska Specialty Crop Block Grant

Nebraska Department of Agriculture is soliciting proposals for approximately $700,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grant funding. Projects must enhance the competitiveness of Nebraska-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. Proposals should be initiated by organizations, industry groups, or academic institutions, or should involve collaboration or partnerships between producers, industry groups, academics, or other organizations. Concept proposals are due by January 31, 2020.


Colorado Specialty Crop Block Grant

Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting concept papers for Specialty Crop Block Grants. Approximately $650,000 is available in Colorado. Applicants will be required to provide a cash and/or in-kind matching contribution of at least 25% of the total project budget. Producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and/or local organizations, academia, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply. Project priorities are listed online. Concept papers are due February 3, 2020.


Conservation Collaboration Grants

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing $35 million in conservation collaboration grants to enhance outreach to the nation's farmers and ranchers for the delivery and adoption of conservation measures. NRCS is accepting proposals in two different categories. Outreach to Assist Historically Underserved Groups projects can receive $250,000 to $1 million. Collaboration on Strategic Natural Resource Issues projects can receive $500,000 to $2 million. Eligible applicants include tribal governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Projects should target agricultural producers in multiple states, including Tribal, socially disadvantaged, limited-resource or beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as veteran farmers or ranchers. Proposals are due February 7, 2020.


USDA Tribal Scholars Program

USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement is accepting applications for the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program. This program aims to increase the number of tribal college and university students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and workforce training to students. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition. The USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college, and current college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. General requirements include U.S. citizenship, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and acceptance to, or currently attending, a 1994 institution to study agriculture, food, and natural resources. Application materials must be postmarked by February 9, 2020.


New York Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The New York Farm Viability Institute has released a Request for Proposals for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) cycle. Nonprofit organizations, nonprofit educational institutions, and local and Indian tribal governments in New York may apply. Projects should aim at increasing the profitability of an eligible specialty crop statewide. Applications are due by February 9, 2020.


Alaska Specialty Crop Block Grant

Alaska's Division of Agriculture announces the availability of Specialty Crop Block Grant funds for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of Alaska's specialty crops. Alaska SCBGP funds will be distributed to the specialty crop industry through a competitive review process. Maximum project funding is $60,000. Any entity may apply, but projects must benefit more than one individual, business or organization. A letter of intent is due by February 11, 2020.


Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grants (GFAP). These grants increase the availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food (including produce) for underserved communities in low- and moderate-income areas. Grants help grocery stores and small food retailers make physical improvements and purchase equipment (such as freezers and coolers) to stimulate sales of such foods. For-profit and non-profit grocery stores and small food retailers, such as corner stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, mobile food markets, and retail food outlets operated by an emergency food program or food hub may apply for grants up to $50,000. Applications are due by February 13, 2020.


Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) for fiscal year 2020. This program supports the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building, and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. The recipient must be a collaborative, state, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities. A total of $15 million is available for this fiscal year. Applications for the FY 2020 funding cycle must be received by February 13, 2020.


Farmers Advocating for Organic

Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO) is a grant program funded entirely by annual, voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers. Grants are awarded to research, education, and advocacy projects that advance FAFO's mission: to protect and promote the organic industry and the livelihood of organic farmers. FAFO is currently prioritizing projects that focus on Understanding Organic or Cultivating CROPP Cooperative Community. Nonprofit organizations and academic/research institutions are eligible to submit a letter of interest. The next application deadline is February 15, 2020.


Iowa Sustainability Scholarship Program

Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals for the second round of the sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Awards up to $1,000 will be provided to selected proposals to support planned learning and participation experiences for students interested in the broad area of sustainability. Proposals can be related to agriculture, food, natural resources, or related topics. Proposals are due by February 15, 2020.


Resilient Communities Program

Wells Fargo and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have partnered to create the Resilient Communities program. In 2020, Wells Fargo and NFWF will invest approximately $3 million total in these three categories: 1) Adaptation through conservation projects; 2) Community capacity building and demonstration projects; and 3) Adaptation focused on affordable housing and small businesses. In Category 1, approximately $1.5 million is available. Grants in this category will range from $200,000 to $500,000 to support highly impactful and visible conservation projects that help prepare for fire, floods, droughts, and/or sea-level rise nationwide. Proposals are due by February 18, 2020.


Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana. State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Eligible projects include research, education, developing new and improved varieties, improving the capacity of the distribution chain, enhancing food safety, pest and disease control, improving efficiency and sustainability. An estimated $1.5 million in federal funding will be available. Proposals are due February 19, 2020.


New York Farmland Access Outreach Activities

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets invites eligible not-for-profit conservation organizations (Land Trusts) to submit proposals for financial assistance to conduct activities that will assist counties and municipalities with their agricultural and farmland protection efforts. Specifically, state funding under this grant opportunity will support local agricultural and farmland protection goals by informing owners of viable agricultural land of the mechanisms and programs available to protect their lands from conversion to non-farm uses. Projects will consist of outreach activities intended to reach the owners of viable agricultural land utilizing an inventory of viable agricultural lands and a screening process to identify subsets of landowners to focus on for such outreach activities. Proposals are due on February 21, 2020.


FFAR Seeding Solutions Grants

Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) Seeding Solutions Grants are an open call for applicants to submit innovative and transformative research proposals that further any of six designated Challenge Areas and foster unique partnerships. Matching grants of $300,000 to $1 million are offered in each Challenge Area. Grantees should identify an innovation that addresses an intractable problem in food and agriculture within one of FFAR's Challenge areas: Advanced Animal Systems, Health-Agriculture Nexus, Next-Generation Crops, Soil Health, Sustainable Water Management, or Urban Food Systems. Pre-proposals are due February 26, 2020.


GATHER Food Sovereignty Grant

First Nations Development Institute is offering Gather Food Sovereignty Grants that will support building a national movement that will fulfill a vision of Native communities and food systems that are self-directed, well-resourced, and supported by community policies and systems. This opportunity targets emerging projects that focus on developing Tribal Food Sovereignty. Through the first round of the Gather Food Sovereignty Grant, First Nations expects to award up to eight grant awards of approximately $32,000 to support Native American-led food sovereignty work. Applications are due by February 27, 2020.


Organic Transitions Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program—Organic Transitions (ORG), to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems. ORG will continue to prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the areas of soil conservation, pollinator health, and climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gases, as well as the development of educational tools for Cooperative Extension personnel and other agricultural professionals who advise producers on organic practices, and development of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Program's National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. All projects should integrate research, education, and extension activities. Applications are due by February 27, 2020.


Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grants

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is accepting proposals for the Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan's specialty crops. Grants have a maximum award of $100,000 for research proposals and $125,000 for marketing, training, and education proposals. Funding priority will be given to projects with a focus on Market Enhancement (Market Expansion and Access and Farm to Institution); Research (Health, Pest Management, Farm Sustainability); and Training and Education (Food Safety, Environmental Sustainability, Workforce/Labor). Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities; and for-profit organizations. Grant proposals must be emailed by February 27, 2020.


New York Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets invites applications for financial assistance to implement farmland protection activities. This funding opportunity provides State financial assistance to enable local initiatives that are intended to maintain the economic viability of the State's agricultural industry and its supporting land base and to protect the environmental and landscape preservation values associated with agriculture. This grant opportunity is being offered to specifically implement Conservation Easement Projects with owners of viable agricultural lands that are associated with a dairy Farm Operation at risk of conversion to non-farm uses. The applicant must be the entity that is the Grantee (or "holder") of the perpetual agricultural conservation easement. Grant applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until all funding is committed.


New York Climate Resilient Farming Round 5

The New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee invites Soil and Water Conservation Districts to submit proposals for funding to the Climate Resilient Farming Program. Funds are available for projects that mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate change and enhance the on-farm adaptation and resiliency to projected climate conditions. Applications must be for one of the following: Track 1: Agricultural Waste Storage Cover and Flare Systems; Track 2: Water Management; or Track 3: Healthy Soils NY (soil health management practice systems). Applications are due by March 2, 2020.


New Mexico Specialty Crop Block Grant

New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for Specialty Crop Block Grants. These grants support projects to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and specialty crop farmers in domestic or foreign markets, including Native American and disadvantaged farmers. Increasing competitiveness may include developing local and rural food systems and improving food access in underserved communities. Previously funded projects range from one to three years in length and vary in amount from $15,000 to more than $100,000. Proposals are due by March 2, 2020.


AFRI Small and Medium-Sized Farms

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 Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities, and one priority within this area is Small and Medium-sized Farms. Standard, Conference, and FASE (Strengthening Standard, New Investigator, Strengthening Conference, Seed, Equipment, and Sabbatical) grants are available for this priority area in amounts up to $500,000. Grants support research with education or extension. Applications are due by March 5, 2020.


Value-Added Producer Grant Program

USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service is accepting applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Approximately $37 million is available. The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. Beginning farmers or ranchers, socially-disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, farmer or rancher cooperatives, or projects that are proposing a mid-tier value chain receive priority. Planning grants up to $75,000 are offered, as well as working capital grants up to $250,000. A 50% match is required. Applications are due by March 10, 2020; electronic applications must be submitted by March 5, 2020.


Minnesota Specialty Crop Block Grants

Organizations that benefit Minnesota fruit, vegetable, and other specialty crop producers can apply for USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Nonprofit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural groups can apply, as well as for-profit entities, farms, and other businesses who aim to enhance sector-wide competitiveness of specialty crops through research, education, or marketing projects. Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000 per project. Applications are due by March 10, 2020.


AFRI Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems

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 this area a priority is Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems. Research and combined research and extension grants up to $500,000 are available in this area. The goal of the Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems program is to advance knowledge of invasive or established plant pests and associated beneficial species leading to innovative and biologically based strategies to manage pests. Applications are due by March 12, 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.


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