Local Food Promotion Program, Deadline May 12

Approximately $13 million in competitive grant funds in fiscal year (FY) 2016 is available for award through the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).  LFPP offers grant funds with a 25% match to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets, by: developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to Local and Regional Food Business Enterprises, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of Local and Regional Food Business Enterprises.

Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. Such entities may include agricultural businesses, agricultural cooperatives, producer networks, producer associations, community supported agriculture networks, community supported agriculture associations, and other agricultural business entities (for-profit groups); nonprofit corporations; public benefit corporations; economic development corporations; regional farmers’ market authorities; and local and tribal governments.

Two types of project applications are accepted under LFPP—planning grants and implementation grants. Applicants can apply for either but will receive only one type of grant in the same grant cycle. LFPP Planning Grants are used in the planning stages of establishing or expanding a local and regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to market research, feasibility studies, and business planning. A minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $100,000 will be awarded for any one proposal, and the grants must be completed within a 18 month period.

LFPP Implementation Grants are used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to training and technical assistance for the business enterprise and/or for producers working with the business enterprise; outreach and marketing to buyers and consumers; and non-construction infrastructure improvements to business enterprise facilities or information technology systems. A minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $500,000 will be awarded for any one proposal, and the grants must be completed within a 36 month (3 years) grant period.

Contact us for more information. Learn more about GFA at http://gfa.tc.

Local Food Promotion Program, Deadline May 12

Rural Energy for America Program, Deadline July 7

Aerial_view_of_farm

RURAL ENERGY FOR AMERICA PROGRAM (REAP)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications from Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses for funding the installation of Renewable Energy Systems or to make Energy Efficiency Improvements. Rural Small Business projects must be located in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or less, while Agricultural Producer projects have no rural limitations. For this funding round, USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in guaranteed loans. Additional REAP funds provided by the 2014 Farm Bill will be made available with a subsequent notice.

Applications will be accepted for grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of Renewable Energy Systems and for the installation of Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects. Grants can cover up to 25 percent of total eligible costs, while Guaranteed loans can cover up to 75 percent of total eligible cost.

Eligible projects in the accepted technology areas include: Anaerobic Digesters, Biomass / Biofuels, Geothermal (including electric generation and direct use), Hydropower projects (30 megawatts or less), Hydrogen, Solar (small and large), Wind (small and large), and Energy Efficiency Improvements.

Examples of Energy Efficiency Improvement projects include, but are not limited to: the installation and replacement to more energy efficient motors, pumps, fans, blowers, compressors, grain dryers, irrigation projects, refrigeration units, ventilation systems, windows, insulation, heating systems, lighting systems, and energy shade curtains.
Grant applications & combined grant and guaranteed loan applications are due to the USDA Rural Development State Office or Area Offices, on or before July 7, 2014.

Guaranteed loan only applications will be accepted on a continual basis, but must be submitted by July 31, 2014 to compete for FY2014 funding.

Contact us for more information!

 

Rural Energy for America Program, Deadline July 7

Farmer’s Market Promotion Program, Deadline June 20

1024px-Loxley_Farm_Market_Produce

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of approximately $15 million in competitive grant funds in fiscal year (FY) 2014 to be awarded through the Famers Market Promotion Program. The Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) is a component of the Farmers Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), which is authorized by the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3005). The FMPP is a competitive grant program administered by the Marketing Services Division (MSD) of AMS.

The goals of FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. The minimum FY2014 FMPP award per grant is $15,000 and the maximum is $100,000. An applicant is limited to no more than one grant in a grant-funding year. FMPP funding will be available for use beginning in October 2014. Project work should begin in October 2014 and end not later than October 2016. Matching funds are not required.

Eligible applicants:

  1. Agricultural Business. A business entity that provides, holds, delivers, transports, offers, or sells agricultural products or services.
  2. Agricultural Cooperative. A group-owned or member-owned entity or business that provides, offers, or sells agricultural products or services for the mutual benefit of the members thereof.
  3. Producer Network. A producer group- or member-owned organization or business that provides, offers, or sells agricultural products or services through a common distribution system for the mutual benefit of the members thereof.
  4. Producer Associations. An organization or other business that assists or serves, represents, or serves producers or a producer network.
  5. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network. A formal group of farms that work collectively to offer consumers regular (usually weekly) deliveries of locally-grown farm products during one or more harvest season(s), often on a subscription or membership basis. Customers have access to a selected share or range of farm products offered by the group of farmers based on partial or total advance payment of a subscription or membership fee.
  6. CSA Associations. An organization or other business that assists or serves, represents, or services CSAs or CSA networks.
  7. Local Government. Any unit of government within a State, including a county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority, special district, school district, intrastate district, council of governments, or other instrumentalities of local government.
  8. Nonprofit Corporation. Any organization or institution, including nonprofits with State or IRS 501 (c) status and accredited institutions of higher education, where no part of the net earnings of which inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
  9. Public Benefit Corporation. A corporation organized to construct or operate a public improvement, the profits from which inure to the benefit of a State(s) or to the people thereof.
  10. Economic Development Corporation. An organization whose mission is the improvement, maintenance, development and/or marketing or promotion of a specific geographic area.
  11. Regional Famers Market Authority. An entity that establishes and enforces regional, State, or county policies and jurisdiction over State, regional, or county farmers markets.
  12. Tribal Government. A governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including any native village as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 85 Stat. 688 (43 U.S.C. § 1602)) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Contact us for more details!

Farmer’s Market Promotion Program, Deadline June 20

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!

We’re very happy to say that we’re a TC Chamber 2012 Small Business of the Year nominee. We hope you’ll take a minute this Wednesday afternoon (5:30-7:30 pm) to stop by the Hagerty Center and say hi. Admission is free and you can get a look at the other great nominees as well.

http://tcchamber.org/leadership-development/transform-your-organization/small-business-celebration/

We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, today’s featured grant is the Farm to School program.

The MI Farm to School Grant Program awards Michigan K-12 schools/districts with funds ($2,000 maximum each) to plan for or implement farm to school programs. With funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, this program is coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. The application period for the second grant year (September 1, 2012 – June 1, 2013) is now open! Applications are due by 5 pm EST on Friday, May 4, 2012.

  • The MI Farm to School Planning Grant helps K-12 schools and Pre-K programs plan for integrating fresh, local foods into cafeterias AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Action Plan to implement a farm to school program.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Meeting expenses for gathering farmers, food service professionals, students, parents, community members, etc.
    • Trainings/learning opportunities (i.e. fresh food prep, knife skills, seasonal menu planning, etc.) in addition to those required for grantees
    • Fees associated with attending conferences related to farm to school, local agriculture, food systems, etc.
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment (up to $500) to help prepare and serve fresh, local produce
  • The MI Farm to School Implementation Grant helps schools put existing farm to school plans into action AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Sustainability Plan to keep a farm to school program going and growing in future years.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment, resources or materials that will help to increase the use of local foods in the school food service program
    • Purchase of fresh, local food products to use in the school food service program
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Marketing materials for fresh, local foods in school cafeterias (i.e. posters, line tags, etc.)
    • On-going training or learning opportunities for food service staff to utilize fresh, local foods

Eligibility:

  • The school food service program must have at least 50% free and reduced-price meal enrollment at the time this application is completed. A goal of this program is to help vulnerable children find more local, healthy food choices in school meals programs.
  • Only school food service/nutrition directors can apply for their school district(s) or school(s). Food service directors from a school district may choose to focus on a few school buildings or an entire school district’s food service program, but the district must have 50% free and reduced price meal enrollment. Private or charter schools may apply as an individual school.
  • Only one application for either the planning or implementation grant (not both) is allowed per pre-K program, school or district per grant year.
  • Pre-K and early childcare programs are eligible only for planning grants. The program must be eligible to receive Tier 1 reimbursement rates for at least 50% of program participants (as indicated by current Child and Adult Care Food Program eligibility) to apply. Private or charter school and early childcare programs servicing children from birth-5 may apply as individual grantees. Childcare programs solely contracting with a school/district for all meals programs must apply in partnership with the school/district food service/nutrition director.

Contact us for more details!

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!

Value Added Producer Grants, Deadline Aug. 29

These USDA Rural Development grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Awards may be made for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000. Rural Development is encouraging applications that will support communities in urban or rural areas, with limited access to healthy foods and with a high poverty and hunger rate.

Ten percent of available funds are reserved to fund applications submitted by Beginning Farmers or Ranchers and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers as defined at 7 CFR 4284.902. An additional 10 percent of available funds are reserved to fund Mid-Tier Value Chain projects (both collectively referred to as ‘‘reserved funds’’). Grants made to Majority Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures may not exceed 10 percent of the total funds obligated for the program in the fiscal year.

This program has a $37M budget and is anticipating approximately 250 awards.

Value Added Producer Grants, Deadline Aug. 29

People’s Garden Grant Program, Deadline August 26

The National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) announces the availability of grant funds and requests applications for the People’s Garden Grant Program (PGGP) for fiscal year (FY) 2011 to facilitate the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens in urban and rural areas, which will provide opportunities for science-based informal education. This program is a joint initiative supported by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food and Nutritional Service, Forest Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service, in addition to NIFA. Successful applicants will provide micro-subgrant support to smaller local projects. This notice identifies the objectives for PGGP projects, the eligibility criteria for projects and applicants, and the application forms and associated instructions needed to apply for a PGGP grant. NIFA additionally requests stakeholder input from any interested party for use in the development of the next RFA for this program. In addition, in order to answer questions that you may have concerning this RFA and the pending project, NIFA will host a teleconference on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). For those unable to participate in the call, NIFA will post a summary of the questions and the information provided to our website, http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/peoples_garden/peoples_garden.html. To participate in the teleconference, please call toll-free (888) 858-2144; the access code is 1059897.

Estimated Total Program Funding:    $725,000
Award Ceiling:    $150,000
Award Floor:
CFDA Number(s):    10.500  —  Cooperative Extension Service
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:    Yes

  Eligible Applicants

  •     Independent school districts
  •     Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  •     Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  •     Private institutions of higher education
  •     Individuals
  •     For profit organizations other than small businesses
  •     Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)

Additional Information on Eligibility:
Eligible applicants are State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research or education institutions and organizations, Federal and private agencies and organizations, non-profit organizations, individuals, and any other contractor or recipient. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the implementation of the project. An applicant’s failure to meet an eligibility criterion by the time of an application deadline may result in the application being excluded from consideration or, will preclude NIFA from making an award.

People’s Garden Grant Program, Deadline August 26

Organic Farming Grants, Due June 12

Organic Initiative Special Sign-up Extended until June 12, 2009

The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.

Under the Organic Initiative, minimum core conservation practices have been set nationally. The core practices are: Conservation Crop Rotation; Cover Crop; Nutrient Management; Pest Management; Prescribed Grazing; and Forage Harvest Management. In addition, States may add any appropriate practice that meets the resource concern on a particular farm.

Applications received from organic producers or producers in transition to organic farming will be accepted under this initiative until June 12. Applications will be ranked at that time. Please contact your GFA client rep for more information!

Organic Farming Grants, Due June 12