Monday, November 28, 2011
USDA is offering the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant which was established to solve critical industry issues through research and extension activities. SCRI will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary; and include explicit mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics; efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term; new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops. Applications are due January 31, 2012. Prospective applicants are asked to email a notification of intent to submit an application by close of business on November 25, 2011
Eligible Applicants include: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, 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, Individuals, For profit organizations other than small businesses, and Small businesses.
More information is available here.
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) offers a Matching Awards Program (MAP) to provide support to nonprofit organizations and Native American tribes throughout the U.S. to engage in on-the-ground conservation and citizen-based monitoring projects benefiting National Forests and Grasslands. MAP funds can be used to support conservation and restoration projects enhancing wildlife habitat, recreation, watershed health, and community-based forestry. A common thread connecting NFF program areas is an interest in action-oriented projects that enhance the viability of natural resources while benefiting and directly engaging surrounding communities. The NFF will accept applications from non-governmental, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and Native American tribes working on or adjacent to National Forests and Grasslands throughout the United States.
All grants require at least a one-to-one cash match through non-federal donations. The application deadline is January 17, 2012.
Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the application process. MAP projects are selected for funding through a two-stage process. Applicants must first complete an online questionnaire. Those that successfully complete the questionnaire are invited to submit a proposal to the NFF.
And a helpful webinar with more information regarding this program can be found here.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is offering a free interactive webinar for those interested in learning more about how to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grants in their state. This webinar will share information on how you can use these grant funds to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Many projects funded in the past by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program focus on marketing and promotion, education, production, research, food safety, and pest and plant health.
Specialty crop project applications must be submitted to your State Department of Agriculture for funding consideration. State Departments of Agriculture are encouraged to partner with specialty crop stakeholders, including socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers.
There will be a live question and answer session following the formal webinar presentation. Attendees of previous webinar sessions have included growers, processors, packers and distributors of all sized operations and others along the produce supply chain, as well as representatives from academia and government.
Details regarding the time and date of the webinar are below.
Date: Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011
Subject: USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Don’t miss this informative webinar. Visit http://bit.ly/v21Rfi to register before the Dec. 9, 2011 deadline.
Or, for more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program visit USDA's website at www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp
Friday, October 28, 2011
USDA is offering the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) as a grant program to fund specialty crop industry issues through research and extension activities. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics; efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term; new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops.
Elligible applicants include: national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.
Applications are due: January 31, 2012, but a letter of intent is requestd by November 25, 2011. For more detailed information please visit: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/specialty_crop.html
Friday, October 14, 2011
The National Gardening Association (NGA) and The Home Depot Garden Club are offering Youth Garden Grants (YGG). Schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, and inter-generational groups throughout the United States are eligible to apply. Gardens and programs should contain some of the following: educational focus or curricular/program integration, nutrition or plant-to-food connections, environmental awareness/education, entrepreneurship, social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, or service-learning.Five winners will receive gift cards valued at $1,000, and 95 winners will receive $500 gift cards, for the purchase of gardening materials and supplies specific to the needs of their program from their local Home Depot store.
Applicants must plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years.
Applications must be submitted by November 28th, 2011and can be found here. Award announcements will be made on March 1, 2012 and distributed later that month.
Grant awardees will be required to submit a year-end impact report due in August of 2012.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is offering USDA's National Organic Certification Cost Share Program to Hoosier Organic Producers. Any organic producer is the state of Indiana who has been certified through a qualifying agency is eligible to receive funding through this program.
Producers may be reimbursed for their certification or recertification expenses between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011. Producers can receive up to 75 percent of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750. Applications can be found on ISDA's website. Producers will need to provide a copy of their certifiers paid receipt or a copy of the certifiers invoice and some sort of proof-of-payment (canceled check or bank statement) along with the Organic Cost Share Program application form and a new vendor form. Applications and the necessary documentation need to be submitted to ISDA by November 1, 2011.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
USDA has set aside $5 million dollars for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP). This program is intended to develop connections between two or more sectors of the food system; Support the development of entrepreneurial projects; Develop innovative connections between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors; or Encourage long-term planning activities, and multi-system, interagency approaches with collaborations from multiple stakeholders that build the long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of the communities, such as food policy councils and food planning associations.
Some examples of Community Food projects include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing & consumer cooperatives. All projects must involve low-income participants, and should address the following issues; Meet the food needs of low-income individuals; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs.
In FY 2012 CFPCGP intends to solicit applications and fund three types of grants. The types are entitled (1) Community Food Projects (CFP), (2) Planning Projects (PP) and Training and Capacity Building (TCB) Projects.
Applications are due November 17th, 2011 and more information regarding this program can be found here. Please note USDA is offering a pre-application submission webinar to discuss the matching requirement and what costs are allowable on the project on October 27, 2011 between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm Eastern Time. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the NIFA internet site for future reference.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I have two funding opportunites to pass along to you today for your community and local school.
The Monsanto Fund is launching their America’s Farmers Grow Communities program in which farmers may select their favorite non-profit organization to receive $2,500 within their county. Counties are chosen to participate in the basis of at least 30,000 acres of corn, soybeans or cotton. The grants are randomly selected per county and the program will run from August 1 through November 30, 2011. The process is very simple where farmers spend 2-3 minutes on growcommunities.com website and enter their name and preferred organization. No purchase is required and it’s simply a way for them to give back to local communities. A random drawing of one registered farmer from each county will result in $2,500 going to that farmer’s designated organization.
Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program will be accepting online applications for school garden grants! In partnership with FoodCorps, Whole Kids Foundation will grant 1000 schools $2000 each to build or expand their school garden. School gardens are a vital educational tool. Every seed planted sprouts a new opportunity for kids to cultivate healthy eating habits. Teaching kids to garden helps them learn about complex topics like sustainability and conservation, food systems and community awareness. Not to mention an appreciation for food from seed to plate Applications can be found on Whole Kids Foundation Website and are due December 31, 2011.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
USDA has announced that they are accepting applications through the Value Added Producer Grant Program. These grants provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups. Grant funds may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.
Application deadline is August 29, 2011. For more information click here.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Summer is here and many Farmers' Markets are in full swing selling fresh, local produce to area residents on a weekly basis. Besides ISDA's Farmers' Market Cost Share Program, there is another funding source out there for Farmers' Markets to apply to for funding.
USDA is once again offering the Farmers' Market Promotion Program Grant for 2011 and allocated $10 million to be awarded through grants for this program. Funding is to be used to increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by improving and expanding, or assisting in the improvement and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities and other direct producer-to consumer market opportunities; and to develop, or aid in the development of new farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities
Eligible applicants include: Agricultural Cooperatives, Producer Network, Producer Associations, Local Government, Nonprofit Corporation, Public Benefit Corporation, .Economic Development Corporation, or a Regional Farmers Market Authority.
Award amounts can range from $5,000 to $100,000. Applications are due July 1, 2011. And more information can be found Here.
Friday, May 27, 2011
USDA is offering funds through their Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to provide support for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance that will allow agriculture producers and rural small businesses to become more energy efficient and use renewable technologies. For all projects, the proposed system must be located in a rural area, must be technically feasible, and must be owned by the applicant.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up $100,000. Recipients of an energy audit are required to pay at least 25% of the cost of the audit. The application deadline is June 30, 2011 and more information regarding this program can be found Here.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) have grant funds to support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products. The projects funded through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) funds projects that integrate science and engineering research in the following three technical areas that are critical to the broader success of alternative biofuels production:
• Feedstock Development
Funding will support research, development and demonstration activities for improving biomass feedstocks and their supply, including the harvest, transport, preprocessing, and storage necessary to produce biofuels and biobased products.
• Biofuels and Biobased Products Development
Research, development and demonstration activities will support cost-effective technologies to increase the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels and/or biobased products. Funding will also support the development of a wide range of technologies to produce various biobased products, including animal feeds and chemicals that can potentially increase the economic viability of large-scale fuel production in a biorefinery.
• Biofuels Development Analysis
Projects will develop analytic tools that improve the sustainability, environmental quality, cost effectiveness, security, and rural economic development of renewable biomass technologies. Funding will also be used to develop new tools to better evaluate the impact of expanded biofuel production on the environment and to assess the potential of using federal land resources to sustainably increase feedstock production for biofuels and biobased products.
Pre-applications are due on May 31, 2011 and must be submitted electronically. It is anticipated that applicants who are encouraged to submit full applications will be notified by August 3, 2011.
For more information visit DOE's website or USDA's.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Are you a producer who sells produce at a Farmers' Market? Then you should get your Market Master to sign up for ISDA's Farmers' Market Cost Share Program. This program will reimburse your market 50% of the cost of advertising and promotional expenses up to $500.
To qualify for this funding your market needs to be listed in ISDA's Online AgriTourism & Farmers' Market Directory and any icons or images in your promotional and advertising pieces must be of specialty crops (i.e. fruits and vegetables) Simply fill out the application, and send ISDA copy's of your receipts along with examples of what your marketing items are (brochures, magnets, signs, etc.).
Funds for this program are provided through a previous years USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant which is to be used to solely enhance the competitiveness of Specialty Crops. Applications are funded on a first come first served basis, so please apply soon!
Friday, April 8, 2011
While Mothers Day is still 30 days away, it's never too soon to be thinking about your mom. Monsanto offers the "America's Farm Mom of the year award. If you know an outstanding farm mom, you can nominate her in 300 words or less telling how she contributes to her family, farm, community and agriculture.
Nominations end May 8, 2011. Five regional winners will be announced in mid-May. Each winner will receive a $5,000 prize. The national winner will receive an additional $2,500. Entries will be judged based on:
Supporting her Family -- What makes this mom really special to her family? What attributes are especially appreciated above and beyond all the daily tasks and responsibilities moms perform?
Supporting her Farm -- Whether it's keeping the books or driving a combine, how does the mom play an important role in the success of the family farm?
Supporting her Community -- How does this mom contribute to her community through involvement in agriculture organizations or support for other community activities?
Supporting Agriculture -- How does she share her passion for agriculture with others and how does she help educate consumers about ag?
Thursday, March 31, 2011
It is once again time for another round of USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant. This grant is to to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Through this program each state is allocated funding to award to organizations and associations that focus on specialty crops.
In Indiana grants are available in the range of $2,000 - $50,000 for activities and practices affecting the specialty crop industry including:
• increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption
• improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems
• helping entities establish good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices
investing in research such as enhancing food safety, developing new and improved seed varieties & specialty crops, pest and disease control and sustainability
• market promotion of qualified Indiana food & agricultural products
Applications must be submitted via email to ISDA by June 17, 2011. Commissions, public entities, associations, and/or nonprofit organizations that represent specialty crops as defined by USDA in Indiana agriculture are eligible to apply. A Guidance Document, Application and Scoresheet can be found on ISDA's website here.
Please note; a new change in the application process for this year is that all applicants must have a DUNS number. This is a federal requirement and can take a couple of weeks to obtain, so please plan accordingly.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This week is National Ag Week! But here in Indiana we have declared March to be Agriculture Month. One Month to recognize farmers and all they do to provide us with a safe and reliable food source. One Month to recognize how diverse agriculture is from organically grown produce, to large scale animal production units, and from hardwoods to aquaculture. One Month to recognize that Agriculture touches every aspect of your life from the mint in the toothpaste you brush your teeth with everymorning, to the fuel you put in the car, to the crayons your kids color with.
Governor Mitch Daniels declared March Agriculture Appreciation Month in Indiana. The Hoosier celebration is an extension of National Ag Week, March 13-19.
The official proclamation reads, in part:
WHEREAS, the foundation of Indiana agriculture, farm production, occurs on 61,000 farms representing 14.8 million acres of farmland in the state; and
WHEREAS, the Hoosier farmer, a symbol of strength and strong moral fiber, has displayed ingenuity in times of prosperity and perseverance in the face of hardships, while supplying our state, our nation and the world with an abundance of high quality agriculture goods and products; and…
In honor of the month and in recognition of the significant economic and cultural contributions agriculture makes to the Hoosier state, Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF), a coalition of more than a dozen ag-related organizations, will sponsor a series of events and initiatives during Agriculture Appreciation Month. Stay tuned to ISDA's facebook and twitter (@ISDAgov) accounts for more information.
Friday, March 4, 2011
As I look out my window this morning I see some robins hoping around and some tulips just starting to poke up through the ground and it brings me hope that spring is on the way. Soon I will be able to work outside in the yard, start planting my garden and enjoying warmer days in the sun. Springtime usually brings a lot of planning from groups on outside projects they want to accomplish. Today I am sharing a few environmental projects for communities and habitats.
Environmental Protection Agency: Technical Assistance Program for Sustainable Communities
Application deadline: March 31, 2011
This program provides support for the development and delivery of technical assistance programs that build the capacity of local and tribal governments to implement smart growth and sustainable communities development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, facilitate job creation and economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life. Priority will be given to programs that include provisions for standardized, “ready to go" smart growth/sustainable communities development tools, encompassing identified smart growth principles and/or the following livability principles: provide more transportation choices; promote equitable, affordable housing; enhance economic competitiveness; support existing communities; and value communities and neighborhoods. More details can be found on their website.
Fish and Wildlife Service: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection
Application deadline: April 1, 2011
This program provides support to state and other partner projects for long-term habitat restoration, enhancement or protection, and conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds. Preference will be given to activities that help meet the habitat goals of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Implementation Plan or the Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain Bird Conservation Region Plan, other relevant bird conservation plans, and State Wildlife Action Plans. More information can be found here.
Habitat Protection Programs in the Great Lakes Basin Supported Freshwater Future Grant Programs
Application Deadline: March 31, 2011
The Freshwater Future Grant Programs promote activities that strengthen the role of community groups working locally to protect habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. The Project Grant Program provides support for grassroots groups engaging in advocacy activities and projects to protect local lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other aquatic habitats. The Climate Funding Program offers grants to encourage local communities to become better prepared to handle the impacts of climate change. The Insight Services Grant Program provides grants to be used for Freshwater Future’s professional services in organizational development and strategy assistance, including one-on-one coaching and group training and facilitation. Requests for this program may be submitted at any time. Visit Freshwater Future’s website for application guidelines for each of these programs. More details regarding this program can be found here.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Applications are being accepted for the 2011 Environmental Grant Program offered by the American Water Works Company, a US water and wastewater utility company. Grants are available in American Water service areas in ten states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
This grant program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore, or protect watersheds, surface water, and/or groundwater supplies through partnerships. To qualify, proposed projects must address a source water or watershed protection need in the community; be a new or innovative program for the community, or serve as a significant expansion to an existing program; be carried out by a formal or informal partnership between two or more organizations; and provide evidence of sustainability (continued existence after the American Water grant monies are utilized).
Deadline for entries is March 25, 2011. To qualify for Environmental Grant funding, a proposed project must be:Located within an American Water service area, must be completed between May 1, 2011 and November 30, 2011, and be a new or innovative community initiative, or serve as significant expansion to an existing program.
Complete program information and application requirements are available at the American Water Web site.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Today I am sharing some websites you might find useful while searching for grant funding on your own. These are great pages to bookmark and revisit on a monthly or even weekly basis to see what kinds of funding is available. As always I like to exercise a word of caution and only trust those websites that offer federal or state grants that end in .gov as there are some scams out there in the grant world so it best to be wise and use safe sites.
This is a great site and offers you the ability to search by keyword or by federal agency. It also allows you to sign up to RSS feeds so you can have all the latest grant opportunities e-mail right to you.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is a site that offers both a broad overview of federal funding and allocations as well as offering some advanced search options for looking for particular grant topics.
You can also go directly to various Federal Agencies websites to search for grants they offer. Of course all the grants listed on individual federal agencies websites will also be listed on the website above, but sometimes additional information is listed on the agencies sites. Some of these agencies may also offer RSS feeds allowing you to sign up for e-mail grant alerts. Some federal agencies that may be of interest to Agricultural related projects are:
US EPA - http://www.epa.gov/ogd/
US DOE - http://science.doe.gov/grants/index.asp
National Science Foundation - http://www.nsf.gov/funding/
US Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov/grants/
Friday, January 28, 2011
After you have been awarded a grant; your granting agency will requests reports from you to follow the status of your project. These could be due monthly, quarterly or yearly. Usually there will be a form or template that the grantor will require your reports be turned in as. This could be as simple as a paragraph discribing your latest activities or could be in depth to show itemized spending, time sheets, and budgets. Check with your grantor to find out exactly what is expected and make sure you are providing them all the documentation they need.
Reporting also requires keeping good files. Make sure to keep copies of any bills or receipts. If you are using your time as a match or in-direct cost it's good to keep track of the number of hours you put in on the project as well as any volunteer time. It's also a good idea to keep track of important dates within your project (such as starting dates, delivery dates, etc.) so this can be compared with a timetable.
Lastly, always turn your reports in on time. Know when they are due, what all is expected on the report and be honest with the grantor. They will understand that things don't always go as planned and can help you make an extensions as needed. It's important to have a good working relationship with your grantor so do your part in being organized and responsible.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to capture their love of Indiana food and its farmers on paper or on video for the 2011 Ag Essay Contest titled “Our Food, Our Farmers.”
Sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and the Indiana Humanities Council, the essay contest asks students to explain how Indiana agriculture plays a positive role in their life—and in the lives of those around them. There are two categories of competition: video essay and written essay; and three grade levels: 4-6; 7-9 and 10-12. Entries must be received by February 15, 2011.
“Indiana’s family farms, large and small, are committed to providing a safe, stable and affordable food supply that feeds a growing population,” said Indiana Agriculture Director, Joe Kelsay. “But today's farmers do more than feed and clothe us. They contribute to the economy, protect the environment and improve our health. We want to help young Hoosiers understand and appreciate this impact.”
A winner from each grade level, in each category, will receive a Flip VideoTM Camcorder and be invited to a presentation at the Indiana Statehouse on March 7, 2011. The overall winner in each category will receive an Apple iPad.
Entry guidelines can be found at http://www.foodforthoughtindiana.org/, http://www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com/ and at http://vimeo.com/groups/agweek
This contest is part of the Indiana Humanities Council’s two-year Food for Thought initiative. Food for Thought is an examination and celebration of the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, considering food in the context of history, law, politics, science, the arts, religion, ethnicity and our place in the world.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
2011 is here and what better way to start the new year than with a new grant program. The Indiana Family of Farmers (IFOF) wants to make learning about agriculture easier and even more interesting through a new grant program for local communities.
Grants of up to $2000 will be made available to improve educational agriculture-related events around Indiana. The funds, made possible through the IFOF Ag Resource Committee, may be used by local event organizers to increase participation in educational or outreach events focused on food and fiber, like Ag Day celebrations. Grant applicants may also request monies to make capital improvements (like buying demonstration equipment) or safety upgrades (such as purchasing hand-washing stations).
To be eligible, at least one representative of the grant-requesting organization must attend an IFOF presentation: Tips for Success: Telling the story of Agriculture Through Educational Events. These presentations take place January – April as part of the following events:
• Fort Wayne Farm Show – January 19th in Fort Wayne
• Purdue Extension’s Women in Agriculture conference – February 24th in Jeffersonville
• IN Farm Bureau’s Spring Conference – March 12th – Indianapolis
• Adobe Connect Meeting at regional sites throughout the state – Dates and locations TBA
Applications and detailed guidance may be found online Here. The deadline to apply is June 10, 2011.
Indiana’s Family of Farmers also has a blog that is definitely worth checking out. Their are lots of recipes, tips and insights on agriculture in the state.