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Funding opportunities

America's Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Reinvestment Fund is inviting applications for grant funding through the 2020 round of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill. In 2020, $3 million in grant funding is available for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Applicants can be food retail and/or non-retail food system enterprises that seek to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas through food retail. The HFFI grants program is open to eligible for-profit, nonprofit, and cooperatively owned businesses, institutions of higher education, state and local governments, and tribal governments. While the program is designed to support projects that respond to food access and food enterprise needs that were evolving prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the program will also consider projects related to recovery from the pandemic, directly or indirectly. A letter of interest is due by July 10, 2020.


Cost-Sharing Options for Small Minnesota Food and Beverage Makers

Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) New Markets Program is offering new cost-sharing options for small Minnesota food and beverage makers, to help them lean in to changes and opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers 50% reimbursement on contracted merchandising help and on E-commerce assistance. Reimbursement for e-commerce and web store development may include site registration and membership fees, fees paid based on sales, fees for advertising and premium positioning, site development services and consulting, and creative setup costs such as product photography. Applications are due by July 10, 2020.


Conservation Technical Assistance in Vermont for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

NRCS Vermont is looking for eligible applicants to assist with the following activities to support continued implementation of the RCPP covered programs through managing completion of existing contracts: 1) Conducting on-site visits with RCPP participants to provide technical assistance in order to achieve practice implementation according to the contract/agreement timelines and in accordance with NRCS practice standards. Upon completion of conservation practices, final practice certification will be completed to document that practices meet (or do not meet) NRCS standards. 2) Providing administrative support to complete required documents and contract management including but not limited to: contract modifications, annual reminders of scheduled practice implementation, and notices of non-compliance. State and local government, institutions of higher education, and nonprofits are eligible to apply. Applications are due July 12, 2020.


New Mexico Conservation Funding

Conservation partners are invited to apply for assistance through the NRCS New Mexico Conservation Funding Opportunity. A maximum of $100,000 in total funding is available, for conservation outreach workshops; technical workshops and/or field days on native plant community adoption, and/or pollinator habitat; and organic and specialty crop workshops. The agency expects to make five awards. Applications are due by July 15, 2020.


Feed the Need Mini-Grant

The Future Harvest "Feed the Need" Fund was created to help farmers weather market changes caused by the pandemic and to help address hunger by providing food access in a variety of ways to communities in our region. The program will award cash mini-grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to farmers, with a minimum of 50% of mini-grants awarded to Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color. From activities like sliding scales on CSA orders and home deliveries to providing produce to local food banks and pantries, grant award recipients will have the flexibility to participate in this effort using the tools and means that work best to help others. Eligible applicants are vegetable, fruit, meat, and dairy producers in Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, West Virginia, or Delaware. Priority will be given to Future Harvest members. Farmers are eligible for grant funds if able to deliver produce to those in need at retail value. Applications are due by July 15, 2020.


Leopold Conservation Award—New England

The Sand County Foundation, in partnership with American Farmland Trust, New England Forestry Foundation, and Wildlands and Woodlands, is accepting applications for the Leopold Conservation Award in New England. Sand County Foundation proudly presents the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners who express their land ethic by improving soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on working land. Each award recipient receives $10,000 and a crystal award. Self nominations or nominations of others are accepted. Applications are due by July 15, 2020.


Grassland Restoration Incentives Program Partnership

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program, project with the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture—Grassland Restoration Incentives Program partnership. The partnership is a multi-organization effort aimed at achieving Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture's grassland bird objectives in focus areas throughout the Oaks and Prairies Ecoregion of Texas and Oklahoma. The project provides funding in the form of direct payment to landowners as an incentive for conducting approved grassland bird habitat improvement practices on their property. This special initiative is open to applicants in the Texas counties that have been described and approved as focal counties for the project. The application deadline is July 16, 2020.


Northeast SARE's Research and Education Grant Program

Northeast SARE is accepting preproposals for the 2021 cycle of the Research and Education Grant Program. The Research and Education Grant Program funds projects that result in gains in farmer knowledge, awareness, skills, and attitudes that are then applied to make measurable on-farm changes leading to greater sustainability. Preproposals may be submitted with or without an applied research component, but all proposals must include an education program for farmers that seeks to achieve a "performance target." Research and Education Grants are open to personnel at colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, agricultural and community nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state departments of agriculture and federal agencies, research farms and experiment stations, for-profit entities (such as private consultants and agricultural businesses), and others who work with farmers and in food systems. Proposals funded typically range from $30,000 to $250,000. Preproposals are due by July 23, 2020.


Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant Program

The Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant Program funds projects that develop the knowledge, awareness, skills, and attitudes of agricultural and non-agricultural service providers about sustainable agriculture practices to teach, advise, or assist farmers. Professional Development Grants are open to agricultural service providers, including personnel at colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, agricultural and community nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state departments of agriculture, federal agencies like NRCS, for-profit entities (such as private consultants, veterinary practices and other businesses that serve the farming community), and others who work with service providers. Projects must take place within the Northeast region which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. Proposals funded typically range from $30,000 to $150,000; approximately eight to 12 awards will be made. Preproposals are due by July 23, 2020.


Northeast SARE Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program funds "proof of concept" projects intended to confirm the benefit and/or feasibility of new practices and approaches that have high potential for adoption by farmers. These practices and approaches may be related to production, marketing, business management, human resource management, farm family and other social issues, or other topics related to sustainable agriculture. Research for Novel Approaches Grants are open to personnel at colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, agricultural and community nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state departments of agriculture and federal agencies, research farms and experiment stations, for-profit entities, and others who work with farmers and in food systems. Projects must take place within the Northeast region. Preproposals are due July 23, 2020.


Monitoring Soil Health Impacts of CRP

USDA Farm Production and Conservation Business Center is making available cooperative agreement funding to collect and analyze soil health data from at least 200 sites on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)-enrolled land reflecting a diversity of conditions for at least three years and to quantify the relationship between soil health and cover and practice management characteristics. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions are eligible to apply for the $500,000 of available funding. Applications are due July 28,


Southwest Rivers Program Headwaters 2020 Request for Proposals

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to restore, protect and enhance aquatic and riparian species of conservation concern and their habitats in the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Gila River watersheds. Up to $535,000 in funding is expected to be available through support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and private foundations. Priority restoration activities that address key limiting factors for focal species in the Rio Grande and Gila headwaters region include riparian habitat restoration and enhancement, instream restoration and enhancement, increase in water availability for species and their habitats and/or remove barriers to flow, and reintroduction and translocation of focal species. Eligible applicants include local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies, special districts, non-profit organizations, schools, and universities. Applicants must provide 1:1 non-federal matching funds. Proposals are due July 30, 2020.


Massachusetts Cooperative Conservation Agreements

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Massachusetts is seeking support from and opportunities to partner with like-minded natural resources conservation partners in administering Farm Bill conservation programs. Massachusetts NRCS anticipates that the total funds available in support of this program in FY 2020 will be up to $650,000, subject to availability of funds at the time of award. Proposals will be accepted for projects located in the state of Massachusetts, extending one to three years in duration. Applications must be submitted by July 31, 2020.


Gaia Roots Small Grants Program

Gaia Herbs' social impact program, Gaia Roots, is offering four grantees $5,000 for projects that are working to increase herbal access to drive community empowerment and health across the United States. The priority is on projects that are focused in underserved and marginalized communities. Project examples include herbal education programs, free clinics, mobile clinics, and herbal farming/community garden projects. Submissions are due by July 31, 2020.


Partnership Pre-Proposals for Aging on the Farm

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is seeking pre-proposal applications for small partnership projects ranging from $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000 to address Aging on the Farm. UMASH recently hosted two community forums to identify and discuss key issues related to aging in agricultural communities across the Upper Midwest. UMASH and the University of Minnesota Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation (CHAI) invite you to build upon the issues discussed at these community forums and partner to address the challenge of aging in agricultural communities. Pre-proposals are due August 1, 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.


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.


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.


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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