Friday, January 22, 2010

National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

While this program isn’t technically considered a grant, it is a funding opportunity that I wanted to make Indiana Organic Producers aware of. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture offers the USDA National Organic Certification Cost Share Program to Organic Producers in the state who become organically certified or re-certified between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010. This program will reimburse producers for 75% of the cost of their certification or recertification up to $750.

The application is relatively easy and can be found on ISDA’s website at along with a “New Vendor form” which allows the state to reimburse producers through direct deposit. These forms will need to be sent along with copies of their organic certificate, invoice and proof of payment (cancelled check, money order or bank statement.) If you do not have these documents, contact your certifier and request them, as they are all require in order to receive the reimbursement.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting Registered and Ready to Apply for Federal Grants

The information I’m going to share with you today only pertains to companies, state or local governments, academia or research institutions, not-for-profit or any other institution that plans to apply for federal grants. In order to actually apply with the federal government you will need to get registered and obtain some identification numbers before you submit that first application. Several times I have seen people find their grant and are ready to apply, yet didn’t realize they need these registrations until it is too late. These registrations do take some time to process, so it is best to at least start the process in obtaining them now and, once you do find a grant you will be ready to apply and can submit your federal grant application without having to backpedal to get registered.

The first step in the process of getting registered is to apply for a Data Universal Number (DUNS). This is a one time process you will go through but again, it is required for all federal grant applications. Obtaining this number could take up to two weeks depending on the complexity of your organization. The form can be filled out and applied for directly on line at:

Information required for a DUNS consist of: Organization name, address, phone, CEO/Owner, Legal structure of the organization (corporation, partnership, proprietorship), year organization founded, Primary line of business, total number of employees.

After you receive your DUNS you will next need to register for a Central Contractor Registration (CCR) which basically sets you up to do business with the federal government. This form will ask for contact information on people who perform certain roles within your organization, such as Accountant/Treasurer or Directors/Presidents, but will also ask more detailed information about what all your organization does. The online site to register for this is and can take a couple of days to process.

Lastly, once both the DUNS and CCR are complete you will need to register as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) with This is the easiest step in the process but requires both your DUNS and CCR in order to obtain. Once both of these numbers are entered you will be given a username and password for and then you can officially apply for federal grants!!

I know it takes time to obtain these registrations but like I said if you get started now you will be all ready to go once that perfect grant opportunity comes along.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Did you know Indiana is a major exporter of food and agricultural products?!?!? According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) the U.S. exported over $115 billion in food and agricultural products in 2008. Indiana exported $2.4 billion in food and agricultural products in 2007 and is consistently the tenth leading agricultural exporting state. The ERS further estimates the value of one in three production acres in the U.S. and Indiana to be exported to international customers.

That being said I wanted to highlight a recently opened grant by USDA called the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) Grant in this week’s blog post. This grant will fund research projects that address barriers challenges, and opportunities in marketing, transporting, and distributing US food and agricultural products domestically and internationally. Eligible agricultural categories include livestock, livestock products, food and feed crops, fish and shellfish, horticulture, viticulture, apiary and forest products as well as processed or manufactured products derived from such commodities.

Please note that applications have to be submitted by state departments of agriculture or state agricultural experiment stations, but funds can flow through these organizations to yours. Applications are due February 10, 2010 and the average sized grant award is $50,000. And more details can be found by visiting this link;

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