Lots of Funding Available for Sustainable Agriculture Projects!

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 by
Touring the organic moringa demo plot at the Kearney Research Station

Funding Opportunities for Sustainable Agriculture

There is an historic number of federal funding opportunities currently open for farmers, ranchers and researchers to contribute to climate solutions, farm viability, farmer success and more. Below are short summaries of the ones we are tracking (in chronological order by due date), with links for more details. We are pleased to see that in some cases, priority for funding is being given to under-resourced groups of farmers such as veterans, farmers of color, Tribal, and low-resource growers.

Thanks to NSAC and Juli Obudzinski for compiling these opportunities.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) — Priorities include climate change, historically underserved producers, and urban agriculture. NGOs, in addition to local governments and conservation districts, are eligible to apply. Applications due April 13, 2022. Learn more: RCPP Website.  RCPP Classic.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – Includes several CSP practices focusing on soil health and climate. See detailed list here.  New flexibilities to immediately re-enroll farmers in CSP. The deadline for California has been extended to April 15, 2022. Learn more at the CSP Website.

Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) – Funding available for producers, organizations representing producers, cooperatives to create or expand value-added producer-owned businesses. “Value-added” goods are transformed or specially labeled raw agricultural products which can be sold at a higher cost than the raw input (i.e., cheese, canned goods, organic). Priority is given to projects that increase opportunities for small and mid-sized family farms, and/or for beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Online applications are due April 25, 2022; paper applications: May 2, 2022.  Learn more and how to apply.

Climate-Smart Commodities Funding- The USDA is extending the deadlines to apply for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity after requests from many stakeholders. Grants are available for pilot projects that will create market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices. Two types of funding pools are available: the first is for grants from $5-100 million for projects that focus on greenhouse gas benefits from climate-smart practices with applications due May 6, 2022. The second is for grants from $250,000 to $4.9 million for innovative pilot projects focusing on small-scale and underserved producers, with monitoring reporting and verifications activities developed by minority-serving institutions. These applications are due June 10, 2022. Learn more here.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) – Grants available to support collaborative local, state, and regional networks and partnerships that help beginning farmers and ranchers through financial and entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and apprenticeship programs; “land link” programs that connect retiring farmers and landowners with new farmers; vocational training and agricultural rehabilitation programs for veterans; and education, outreach, and curriculum development activities to assist beginning farmers and ranchers. Grants have a term of 3 years and cannot exceed award amounts of $200,000 per year. Applications due May 19, 2022 via grants.gov.  Learn more with the Full RFA and contact Denis Ebodaghe

Western SARE Research & Education Grants – Grants available for researchers and at least three producers to develop a proposal on sustainable agriculture education and research. Outreach activities may include on-farm/ranch demonstrations, farmer-to-farmer educational activities, and other approaches to assist producer adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. This program is administered by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and applications are due May 19, 2022. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

 American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program – Funding available for non-profits and higher education institutions to provide technical assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers via cooperative agreements. The award range is a minimum of $500,000 to $3.5 million for a maximum of five years. Applications due June 1, 2022. Full application and eligibility information can be found here.

2501 Program AKA: Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers – Funding available for community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities to help historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms. Organizations can apply for a maximum amount of $250,000 for a single year, with a grant maximum amount of $750,000 over a 3-year period and grants will be offered to three categories of applicants: minority serving academic institutions; non-profit, community-based organizations, and tribal governments; and academic institutions. Applications due June 8, 2022 via grants.gov. Read about this opportunity on the NSAC Blog

USDA will host two upcoming webinars to answer questions from potential grantees.

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Agricultural Systems (AFRI) – Grants available for universities, nonprofits, small businesses, individuals, Tribal Governments, and other entities take a systems approach to significantly improve the supply of affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible agricultural products while fostering economic development and rural prosperity in America. Applications due July 28, 2022. For more information on how to apply and eligibility requirements, see the Sustainable Agricultural Systems funding announcement.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)- Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) – Soil Health Demo Trial component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. FY2022 Funding Announcement not yet published, usually late spring-summer. Learn more at the CIG Website.

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