Farm Market Promotion Grants, Deadline July 1

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grant funds in fiscal year (FY) 2011 to be awarded through the Famers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The FMPP competitive program is administered by the Marketing Grants and Technical Services Branch (MGTSB), Marketing Services Division (MSD) of AMS and is designed to promote the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities. The authorizing legislation for the FMPP includes the Agricultural Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976 (7 U.S.C. 3001-3006) and the recent amendment to the 1976 Act, the FMPP (7 U.S.C. 3005). The minimum FY2011 FMPP award per grant is $5,000 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 2011. Project work should begin in October 2011 and end not later than October 2013. Matching funds are not required. Must follow the 2011 FMPP Guidelines for application instructions and requirements found on the FMPP website.

Eligible Applicants

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Producer Associations. An organization or other business that assists or serves, represents, or serves producers or a producer network.

4. Local Government. – Any unit of local 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, and any other instrumentality of local government.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Economic Development Corporation. An organization whose mission is the improvement, maintenance, development and/or marketing or promotion of a specific geographic area.

8. Regional Famers Market Authority. An entity that establishes and enforces regional, State, or county policies and jurisdiction over State, regional, or county, farmers markets.

9. 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.

DATES: Applications should be received at the address below and must be delivered not later than July 1, 2011. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

ADDRESSES: Submit proposals and other required materials to the 2011 Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Room 4004–South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20250–0269, phone 202–720–8317.

Farm Market Promotion Grants, Deadline July 1

Woody Biomass Engineering Grants, Deadline March 1

The U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Technology Marketing Unit, located at the Forest Products Laboratory, requests proposals for wood energy projects that require engineering services. These projects will use woody biomass material removed from forest restoration activities, such as wildfire hazardous fuel treatments, insect and disease mitigation, forest management due to catastrophic weather events, and/or thinning overstocked stands. The woody biomass shall be used in a bioenergy facility that uses commercially proven technologies to produce thermal, electrical or liquid/gaseous bioenergy.

The funds from the Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program (WBU) must be used to further the planning of such facilities by funding the engineering services necessary for final design and cost analysis. Examples of such projects include engineering design of a 1) woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, 2) non-pressurized hot water system for various applications at a hospital or school, and 3) biomass power generation facility, or similar facilities. This program is aimed at helping applicants complete the necessary design work needed to secure public and/or private investment for construction.

Contact us for more information!

Current Closing Date for Applications:     Mar 01, 2011
Funding Instrument Type:                             Grant
Expected Number of Awards:                      15
Estimated Total Program Funding:           $3,700,000
Award Ceiling:                                                   $250,000
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:     Yes

Eligible Applicants

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Small businesses
  • Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Eligible applicants are businesses, companies, corporations, state, local and tribal governments, school districts, communities, non-profit organizations, or special purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts, or ports). Only one application per business or organization shall be accepted.

Woody Biomass Engineering Grants, Deadline March 1

New RMAP Program to Support Rural Small Business

The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program is a new program that will make grants to organizations that provide training, technical assistance or make small loans to new and existing rural small businesses. This program will provide grants and loan funds to organizations that provide training, technical assistance and/or small loans to rural small business owners, facilitate access to capital and access to services for rural microenterprises.

The funding is channeled to three areas:

  • Loans to microentrepreneurs through applicant organizations: Funds to provide fixed interest rate microloans of less than $50,000 to rural entrepreneurs for the development or start-up of successful microenterprises in rural areas.
  • Grants to organizations to assist microentrepreneurs (connected to loan funds): Funding to organizations to provide marketing, management, and other technical assistance to microentrepreneurs who received or are seeking a loan from the microenterprise development organization.
  • Grants to support microenterprise development (not connected to loan funds): Funding to organizations to provide training, operational support, business planning, market development assistance, and other services to rural entrepreneurs.

The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program program will be administered as a national program through USDA Rural Development’s Business Programs Office.

Organizations eligible to apply for funding include nonprofit organizations, public institutions of higher education, and tribal governments that are not served by a nonprofit development organization.

Applicants should have a demonstrated record of delivering services to rural microentrepreneurs or an effective plan to develop such a program. Applicant organizations do not need to be located in a rural area, but they must serve rural entrepreneurs. Microenterprises can be food or agriculture-related but are not required to be.

The farm bill defines organizations meeting the above qualifications as Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO).

Applications must meet the following standards:

  • Federal share of the cost of a project funded by this program shall not exceed 75%
  • MDOs must match at least 15% of any grant amount
  • Not more than 10% of any grant received may be used for administrative expenses

Definitions:

  • Microentrepreneur: an owner and operator or prospective owner or operator of a rural microenterprise unable to obtain sufficient training, technical assistance or credit
  • Microloan: a business loan of not more than $50,000
  • Rural: any area other than 1) a city or town with 50,000 or greater population, or 2) an urbanized area contiguous or adjacent to a city or town with 50,000 or greater population
  • Rural Microenterprise: sole proprietorship or business with no more than 10 full-time equivalent employees
  • Microenterprise development organization (MDO): an organization that is a nonprofit entity, Indian tribe (that is not served by an MDO), or public institution of higher education that provides training and technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs, facilitates access to capital and services to rural microenterprises and has a demonstrated record of delivering services to rural microentrepreneurs or an effective plan to develop such a program.

Funding Opportunity Number: RDBCP-10-RMAP
Current Closing Date for Applications: Jul 16, 2010
Archive Date: Aug 16, 2010
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Expected Number of Awards: 35
Estimated Total Program Funding: $8,900,000
Award Ceiling: $130,000

Additional Information on Eligibility:
Non-profit entities, Indian tribes, and public institutions of higher education that, for the benefit of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, provides training and technical assistance, makes microloans or facilitates access to capital or another related service, and/or has demonstrated record of delivering, or an effective plan to develop a program to deliver such services.

Eligible MDOs will automatically be eligible to receive technical assistance grants to provide technical assistance and training to microentrepreneurs that have received or are seeking a microloan under the RMAP. These grants are limited to an amount equal to not more than 25 percent of the loan to an MDO under the RMAP. Technical assistance-only (TA-only) grants will competitively be made to MDOs for the purpose of providing technical assistance and training to prospective borrowers. TA-only grants will be made to eligible MDOs that seek to provide business-based technical assistance and training to eligible microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, but do not seek funding for a direct loan under RMAP.

New RMAP Program to Support Rural Small Business