Value-Added Producer Grants Now Open for Applications

The USDA is making available approximately $30 million in funding for agricultural producers, including beginning farmers, to implement value-added enterprises.  The information about applying for the grant is available in the Notice of Funding Opportunity but a few highlights:

  • The maximum award per grant is $250,000 for working capital and $75,000 for planning activities;
  • The grant requires a one-to-one match.  In other words, for every dollar of grant funds, the applicant must provide a dollar in matching funds;
  • Funding priorities are available for beginning, socially disadvantaged, operators of small and medium-sized farms and ranches structured as family farms or ranches, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and projects proposing to develop a Mid-Tier Value Chain (definitions can be found here);
  • Applications are due July 7, 2015 with an anticipated start date of September 30, 2015; and
  • Projects can be up to 36 months, depending upon complexity.

We’ve previously discussed value added grants; however, the Notice of Funding Opportunity is for fiscal year 2015.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us — we’re always here to help!

SARE Report On USDA Programs

SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education arm of the USDA, recently released an updated guide titled Building Sustained Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development.

The guide provides background information on 63 government programs, including programs in the 2014 Farm Bill.  Each description provides information on available resources, how to apply and, when applicable, how funding as been used.  Information is also included on finding appropriate funding programs and grant writing.

The guide is a wonderful resource, especially for beginning farmers and ranchers.  Take a look at it!

Farm Credit Services of America Grants

Farm Credit Services of America offers grants to projects and organizations that make a difference in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wyoming.  The grants are focused upon:

  • Agriculture Education — this is education for youth, high school, university, general public, or producers specific to agriculture
  • Young and Beginning Producers — funding for projects or initiatives for the next generation of agriculture
  • Hunger and Nutrition — support for addressing food and hunger issues, enabling food production and providing a food source for needed populations and geographical areas

The maximum grant is $2,000.  Applications are considered quarterly; thus, applications for the current grant period are due December 31, 2014.  Applications may be made online here.

Feel free to take a look at the FCSA grant program — it may be just the grant you or your operation could need!

SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants Due November 20

SARE, or Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, annual Farmer/Rancher grants are due on November 20th.

The grants are for farmers and ranchers to fund innovative ideas to advance sustainable agriculture.  An individual farmer or rancher can receive up to $7,500, two farmers or ranchers working together can receive up to $15,000, and three or more farmers or ranchers can receive up to $22,500 in grant funding.

To gain an idea of the types of projects funded, see here.  If you have any questions or want some assistance with putting together a grant proposal, feel free to contact us!