Funding opportunities

Alachua County Small-Producer Agriculture Capital Support Grant

Alachua County, Florida's, Board of County Commissioners is funding a mini-grant to Alachua County-based farms and ranches that earn between $1,000 and $250,000 per year. Funding is for capital and equipment expenditures that will positively impact these operations' income. The total grant request must not exceed $5,000. To reduce inequity in marginalized communities, this grant will also prioritize small farms and ranches that are owned by black, women, indigenous, and persons-of-color. Applications are due by July 30, 2021.


Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Competitive Grants Program

USDA's Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is accepting applications for the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Competitive Grants Program. Both Planning Grants and Implementation Grants are available. Planning projects initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban and suburban areas and can range from $50,000 to $200,000. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban agroforestry or food forests, and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production. Implementation projects accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. They range from $50,000 to $300,000. Projects will improve local food access and collaborate with partner organizations and may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavors, and urban farming policy implementation. Applications will be accepted until July 30, 2021.


Pennsylvania Special Allocation of Specialty Crop Block Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is seeking projects that strengthen the state's competitiveness of horticultural specialty crops and combat food system shortfalls associated with COVID-19. A special allocation of the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program under the Consolidated Appropriations Act made $1.4 million available. These funds are intended for projects that respond to priority needs relating to COVID-19 and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Proposals are due by July 30, 2021.


Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Pilot

USDA Farm Service Agency's Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Pilot allows contracts with agricultural producers for perennial conservation covers on less-productive land in the prairie pothole states of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, or South Dakota. Contract terms can be three, four, or five years. Annual rental payments will be made at 50% of the county average rental rate for the applicable county; the rate for beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers will be 75%. No more than 15% of the eligible land per farm can be enrolled in SHIPP. The application deadline has been extended until July 30, 2021.


Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program

USDA announced $55.2 million in competitive grant funding available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program. USDA encourages grant applications that focus on improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency; developing new and expanding existing markets; increasing capacity and better meeting consumer and producer demand; maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards; obtaining a larger commercial presence; and increasing access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, and veteran producers. Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises. MPIRG's Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection project is for processing facilities currently in operation and working toward Federal inspection. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. MPIRG's Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Compliance project is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service CIS program. Applications must be submitted by August 2, 2021.


Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE)

USDA Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service is introducing Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE), a new grant program to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields. The new grant encourages a regional, innovation-driven approach to economic development. RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, and support economic growth in the rural areas of their region. Funding may also be used to establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships, such as integrating rural businesses into new supply chains, providing workforce training and identifying community assets. To help ensure long-term and sustainable community and economic development, award recipients must support projects for at least four years. Applications must be submitted by August 2, 2021.


Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant Program

The Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant Program funds train-the-trainer projects that develop the knowledge, awareness, skills, and attitudes among the full range of service providers who work with farmers. 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. Reviewers prefer projects in the $30,000 to $150,000 range and projects are typically two to three years. Preproposals are due by August 3, 2021.


Northeast SARE Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program

Northeast SARE is accepting preproposals for its Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program. This 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. 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 (such as private consultants and agricultural businesses), and others who work with farmers and in food systems. Preproposals are due August 3, 2021.


Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant

Northeast SARE is accepting preproposals for Research and Education Grants. This 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. All preproposals must include an education program for farmers that seeks to achieve a "performance target" that describes the changes in practices, behaviors, or conditions among farmers expected to result from the proposed project. Research and Education Grants are open to anyone who works with farmers, including personnel at nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, municipalities, tribal governments, state departments of agriculture, federal agencies, research farms and experiment stations, and for-profit business entities. The Northeast region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Preproposals are due August 3, 2021.


National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Champions Program

National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Champions program offers grants up to $15,000 for farmers and outreach partners to learn and develop creative outreach strategies that target new farmer audiences and increase the rate of soil health practice adoption in the Midwest. Conservation Champions are teams of innovative farmers and local outreach partners that want to see sustainable agriculture practices become mainstream. A Conservation Champion team should consist of at least one farmer champion and one outreach champion and come from teams from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, or Wisconsin. Each team can request up to $15,000 to cover the costs of their outreach plan. The deadline to apply is August 6, 2021.


Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for this program. Grant and matching funds up to $200,000 can be used for developing and operating a Rural Cooperative Development Center. A total of $5.8 million is available. Applications are due August 10, 2021.


The Livestock Conservancy Heritage Microgrant Program

The Livestock Conservancy is accepting applications for Heritage Microgrants from residents and organizations of the U.S. working with livestock and poultry breeds listed on the Conservation Priority List. Awards typically range from $500 to $2,000 and can support a variety of farm-related operations, including, but not limited to, livestock, poultry, processing, milk, meat and egg production and sales, agri-tourism, wool milling, promotions, and marketing. Youth microgrants are also offered for youth 8 to 18 years of age who are working with heritage livestock and poultry on the Conservation Priority List. Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2021.


Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership

The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) is a voluntary program through which NRCS enters into agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement and to improve wildlife habitat. Through WREP, state agencies, county and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and American Indian tribes are encouraged to submit proposals for priority project areas to collaborate with NRCS through program and partnership agreements. Once a proposal is accepted for funding, the partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their properties. Up to $17 million in financial assistance and technical assistance funds is available. No single proposal can exceed $5 million. The deadline for submitting proposals is August 15, 2021.


Wetland Mitigation Banking Program

USDA is accepting applications for a total of $5 million through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, a grant program that supports the development of mitigation banks for use by agricultural producers seeking to maintain eligibility for USDA programs. To participate in most USDA programs, agricultural producers agree to comply with the wetland conservation provisions, which means producers will not farm converted wetlands or convert wetlands to enable agricultural production. In situations where avoidance or on-site mitigation is challenging, the Farm Bill allows for off-site mitigation through the purchase of mitigation banking credits. Funds are available to Tribes, government entities, nonprofits, and other organizations. NRCS is prioritizing funds in states with large amounts of wetlands as well as large amounts of producers with wetland determination requests. This includes Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Proposals are due by August 16, 2021.


Goat and Sheep Dairy Supply Chain Grant

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is accepting applications for Goat and Sheep Dairy Supply Chain Grants, which provide funding for New England dairy farmers, processors, and/or producer associations to improve the goat and/or sheep dairy supply chain. Funded projects will increase consumer awareness of goat/sheep dairy products, develop market channels and distribution opportunities to increase goat/sheep dairy product placement, support innovative strategies to increase consumption of goat/sheep dairy products, and/or increase business revenues related to goat/sheep dairy products. Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000 with a 25% match commitment. A total of $250,000 is available. Applications are due by August 19, 2021.


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

EPA Region 5 announced that state agencies, interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants in three categories. These are green infrastructure in shoreline communities, riparian restoration to reduce runoff, and legacy phosphorus in agricultural settings. In addition to natural streambank restoration techniques, eligible riparian projects may include vegetated buffers, constructed wetlands, and two-stage ditches. Legacy phosphorus projects should target heavily fertilized areas and use natural or engineered groundwater structures such as wetlands, floodplains, and two-stage ditches. Applications must be submitted by August 20, 2021.


Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is accepting Letters of Intent for its research grant program. OFRF is prioritizing applications from early career researchers and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and prioritizing research that maximizes the potential for organic agriculture to be part of the climate solution. OFRF will fund projects up to $20,000 for one year of research. Submissions must fall under at least one of the six research priority areas: soil health focus; weed, pest, and disease management focus; resilient cultivars focus; livestock and poultry focus; social science focus; and/or resilience focus. Project submissions may be research-based or integrated (research, education, and/or extension). Additionally, the research must take place on property or land that is certified organic. Letters of Intent are due by August 20, 2021.


Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives

Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives supports USDA's efforts to develop higher value uses for dairy products, diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation, and encourage the use of regional milk production. DBI Initiatives provide direct technical assistance and make grants to dairy businesses. The three current DBI initiatives at University of Tennessee, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and the University of Wisconsin are eligible for additional grant funding (up to $18.4 million) to continue their work. In addition, $1.8 million will be competitively awarded to at least one new Initiative. USDA will give priority to applications that serve a geographic area not covered by an existing initiative and that cover multiple states. Applications must be submitted by August 30, 2021.


Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grants

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting pre-proposals for the Professional Development Program (PDP) Grant. This "train the trainer" program provides funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in areas of sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distributing of training materials. Activities may take place in a single state, multiple states, or throughout the entire Southern region. Pre-proposals are due by August 31, 2021.


Community Grants for Ag Worker Health and Safety

The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety provides funds to organizations to augment their existing worker health and safety programs or create new ones. All funded projects must focus on improving the health or safety of agricultural, forestry, or fishing workers. Priority is given to organizations/projects addressing this population in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and/or Wyoming. Successful applications will provide a compelling description of a community need and evidence suggesting that the proposed project will meet that need. This program plans to fund at least two projects up to $20,000. The application deadline is September 1, 2021.


National Sheep Industry Improvement Grants

The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center is accepting grant proposals for projects designed to improve the U.S. sheep industry. A total of $300,000 is available. Financial assistance should help achieve these objectives: strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development, and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term problems; provide leadership training and education to the industry stakeholders; enhance sheep and sheep products in the United States through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and sheep products; promote marketing of sheep and sheep products through an organized method that can measure tangible results; or enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and by seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the industry community. Proposals are due by September 15, 2021.


Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020, through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens, and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance. Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP starting July 20, 2021, by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any Farm Service Agency county office.


Minnesota Zero-Interest Drought Emergency Loans

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Rural Finance Authority (RFA) Board determined that an emergency exists in Minnesota due to drought, which makes zero-interest loans available immediately for Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering from lack of rain. The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance. The funds can be used to help clean up, repair, or replace farm buildings, repair or replace septic and water systems, replace seed, fertilizer (or other cropping inputs), feed, or livestock and poultry. Farmers in Minnesota counties considered to be in severe drought or worse (D2+ on the U.S. Drought Monitor's designation) and in contiguous counties are eligible to apply.


Scholarships for 8th National Grazing Lands Conference

The National Grazing Lands Coalition is offering the Lynn Myers/Hezekiah Gibson Producer Memorial Scholarship for the 8th National Grazing Lands Conference, December 6-9, 2021, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This scholarship will provide two producers $500 to cover the costs associated with attending the conference. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is October 15, 2021.


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