Funding opportunities

Farm to School Grant Program

USDA awards competitive Farm to School Grants to be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. This year, FNS seeks to award up to $10 million to schools, school districts, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. The RFA includes three tracks: Implementation, Planning, and a new State Agency track. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 are available. Applications are due by December 13, 2019.

 

Wisconsin Dairy Processor Grants

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) invites Wisconsin dairy processors to apply for the next round of Dairy Processor Grants. These grants foster innovation, improve profitability, and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsin's dairy processing facilities. Dairy Processor Grants are customizable to each processor and can be used to address a wide range of business needs including food safety, staff training, or modernization. Eligible applicants must operate a licensed dairy processing plant in Wisconsin which is engaged in pasteurizing, processing or manufacturing milk or dairy products. A grant up to $50,000 is available per dairy processor. The processor is required to provide a match of at least 20%. Applications are due by December 13, 2019.

 

National Agricultural Law Center Collaborative Funding Opportunity

The National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas seeks formal collaboration with individuals, organizations, and institutions on a range of agricultural and food law topics. The National Agricultural Law Center is seeking formal collaboration to conduct research and outreach activities that support the delivery of objective agricultural and food law research and information to the nation's agricultural community. The estimated range for individual project funding awards is $1,000 - $15,000. Funding levels will vary based on the needs of selected projects. Letters of interest are due by December 15, 2019.

 

Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants to Support Native Farmers & Ranchers

First Nations Development Institute is launching two new grant programs under the Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants to Support Native Farmers & Ranchers. Through the Native Farmers & Ranchers Organization Grant, First Nations expects to award 18 to 20 grants averaging $30,000 to organizations in Native communities, with the goal of growing and/or expanding direct services that serve or directly collaborate with Native American farmers and ranchers. The Native Farmer & Rancher Shared Equipment Grant will also award 10 grants averaging $10,000 to organizations in Native communities with the same goals; however, priority will be given to projects aimed at expanding community access to shared equipment made available to Native farmers, ranchers, and producers who are increasing capacity, revenue, and other positive farm outputs that will grow farmer capacity and Native farm and ranch operations. Applications are due December 16, 2019.

 

Minnesota AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program

Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program that funds projects that explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource-efficient, and personally satisfying. Applications from Minnesota farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofits and educational organizations that meaningfully involve Minnesota farmers in projects. Projects must last two to three years and grantees must be willing to share what they learn with others. A total of $200,000 is available. Applicants may request up to $50,000 per project. For requests between $25,000 and $50,000, applicants must provide a dollar-for-dollar match on the amount above $25,000. Applications are due by December 17, 2019.

 

Scholarships for MOSES Conference

Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) offers a number of different scholarships for the annual MOSES Conference, including full-conference, one-day, Organic University, and children's scholarships. Priority is given to farmers who have not yet attended the conference. Previous scholarship recipients are not eligible. The conference will take place February 27-29, 2020, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Applications are due by December 17, 2019.

 

Minnesota Livestock Investment Grants

Minnesota livestock farmers and ranchers seeking to improve their livestock operations are encouraged to apply for the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Livestock Investment Grant program. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $768,000 using a competitive review process. The AGRI Program's Livestock Investment Grants encourage long-term industry development through investment in facilities, infrastructure, and equipment. Applicants may apply for 10% of their project's total cost, maximum. Grant awards range from $400 to $25,000. Each livestock operation is eligible to receive a lifetime maximum of $50,000 from this grant program. Proposals must be received by December 18, 2019.

 

New York Grant Program for School-Based Agricultural Education Programs

Cornell University's Agriculture Education and Outreach program is accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Agricultural Education Incentive Grant for New and Growing Programs. This program will provide local school-based agricultural education programs with grant awards to secure necessary resources for a high-quality agricultural education program. These resources may include, but are not limited to: curriculum development, professional development, program development, resource acquisitions, and program coordination. New programs have until December 20, 2019, to apply.

 

Pennsylvania Growing Greener Plus Grants

Growing Greener Plus refers to three grant programs: Growing Greener(Watershed Restoration and Protection), Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Bond Forfeiture and Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) Set-Aside grants. Watershed associations, conservation districts, municipal governments, and nonprofits are eligible to apply. Watershed restoration priorities include reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollutant loadsfrom agricultural and urban runoff, by implementing and maintaining Best Management Practices (BMPs). They also include stream restoration, bank stabilization, and floodplain restoration. Applications are due by December 20, 2019.

 

Native American Tribes Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FSMA Compliance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces the availability of funding and requests applications for Native American Tribes, Outreach, Education and Training, for the purpose of Enhancing Food Safety and FSMA Compliance for fiscal year 2020. Projects should, deliver outreach and training, and develop and adapt materials that facilitate the integration and understanding of federal food safety regulations and guidance among Native American tribes and members involved in agricultural produce production and food manufacturing/process, while taking into account tribal historical, cultural, and regional agricultural production and processing practices. One award, not to exceed $1 million, is anticipated. A letter of intent to apply is due by December 24, 2019.

 

Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative

The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI) is a statewide public-private financing program that invests in new or expanding grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets in communities throughout Pennsylvania. The FFFI provides one-time grants and loans to food retailers in order to increase access to healthy, affordable grocery food options and to improve economic opportunities for lower-income, underserved communities in urban, rural, and suburban areas across the state. Applications for financing will be evaluated and approved on a rolling basis while funds remain available.

 

John May Farm Safety Fund

The John May Farm Safety Fund has been established by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) for New York farmers needing financial help to improve safety on their farms. Awardees must meet these eligibility requirements: (1) resident of New York State; (2) active farmer (part-time or full-time); and (3) annual farm gross receipts are $10,000 - $349,999 or a dairy farm that has fewer than 700 milking cows. Awards may not exceed 50% of the estimated total cost of the project, with a maximum award amount of $5,000. Applications to the program may be submitted at any time. The number of awards and the award amount will be determined by NYCAMH on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Small Grains Cost Share

Practical Farmers of Iowa is inviting farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to apply for cost-share on small grains harvested in 2020 and followed by a legume-containing cover crop. Eligible small grains include barley, oats, rye, triticale, or wheat. A legume cover crop could be under- or co-seeded clover or alfalfa, or a summer-planted cover that includes hairy vetch or field peas. The cost share provides $25/acre on up to 100 acres per farmer for this combination of a main crop and cover crop on either conventional acres or those transitioning to organic. Cost-share funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Community Facilities Program

USDA is making $150 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters. The grants may be used for relief in areas affected by Hurricanes Michael and Florence, wildfires in 2018, and other natural disasters where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a notice declaring a Major Disaster Declaration and assigned a FEMA disaster recovery (DR) number. More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. Grant applications will be accepted at USDA state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted.

 

Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program

Virginia's governor has announced that $73 million is available this year to protect water and soil health through the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. The cost-share program is a partnership between the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Virginia's 47 soil and water conservation districts. The cost-share program supports the use of various practices in conservation planning to treat cropland, pastureland, hay land, and forested land. Individuals, partnerships, trusts, and other businesses operating farms in Virginia may qualify for cost-share assistance. Participant caps have been raised to $100,000. Producers can visit their local district office for information and to apply. The program year runs July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Funding is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement Scholarships

The Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement is offering 10 scholarships worth $10,000 each to high school seniors or those currently enrolled in a two- or four-year higher education program, with plans to pursue a career in agriculture. In order to be eligible, applicants must reside in MidAtlantic Farm Credit's territory. Applications are due by January 10, 2020.

 

The Americana Foundation

Through its Agriculture and Natural Resources program, the Americana Foundation supports educational, advocacy, and community development programs that address the growth and development of American agriculture, community food programs, and natural resource conservation in rural and urban landscapes in Michigan. The Foundation makes grants only to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Proposals should be submitted by January 10, 2020.

 

NC AgVentures Grant Program

The NC AgVentures Grant Program is an Extension program that provides grants to NC independent family farms for new and innovative agricultural project ideas which will increase farm profits. This is a great opportunity for any producers who are thinking of diversifying, improving, or expanding their operations. Grants up to $8,000 are available to farmers in 46 eligible counties. The application deadline is January 14, 2020.

 

Illinois Cover Crop Premium Discount Program

Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is offering a "Fall Covers for Spring Savings" Cover Crop Premium Discount Program. Eligible applicants will receive a $5/acre insurance premium discount on the following year's crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program. Interested participants may sign-up at for acres planted to cover crops in the fall of 2019 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2020, outside of other state and federal program incentives. Applications are due by January 15, 2020.

 

Crop Insurance Discounts for Iowa Farmers Who Plant Cover Crops

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA Risk Management Agency are offering farmers who plant cover crops this fall a $5 per acre reduction on their spring 2020 cash crop insurance premiums. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cover crop cost share programs. Farmers who received prevented planting payments in 2019 are still eligible for the discounted insurance premiums. Some insurance policies may be excluded, like Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, or those covered through written agreements. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agency to maintain eligibility. Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2020.

 

Minnesota Good Food Access Program Technical Assistance

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting grant applications for organizations offering technical assistance to improve access to fresh, affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods for underserved communities. The funding is available through the Good Food Access Program (GFAP). These grants will help organizations provide needs-based technical assistance to eligible food retailers, such as grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers markets. Nonprofit organizations and public agencies with capabilities to provide technical assistance may apply for a maximum of $50,000. Applications are due by January 16, 2020.

 

Washington State Organic and Sustainable Farming Fund

In partnership with HumanLinks Foundation, Tilth Alliance is accepting applications by Washington State farmers seeking financial assistance to support projects that will improve the economic viability, social impacts, or environmental sustainability of their farm businesses. The goal of this grant program is to enhance the operations of farmers practicing responsible and progressive methods such as sustainable soil management, crop diversification, habitat preservation, climate-change mitigation, and environmentally safe waste-management practices. Grant requests should be between $2,000 and $20,000. Applications are due January 17, 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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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