Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Programs | National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

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NSAC has compiled a list of upcoming deadlines for federal food and farm grant applications and grant assistance workshops. If you farm or work with farmers, consult this list and share with those you know.

And make sure to check out our Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs for more information on how to apply and examples of the types of projects and activities funded through each program.

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Programs are listed below in order of deadline immediacy.


Environmental Quality Incentives Program – Rolling Deadlines: April 17, May 15
EQIP is a voluntary working lands conservation program that offers farmers and ranchers cost-share funding and technical assistance for conservation projects on their land. The EQIP Organic Initiative provides funding to organic producers to address resource concerns with conservation practices. The EQIP High Tunnel Initiative provides financial and technical assistance to producers who want to establish high tunnels to extend the growing season on their farms. The rolling application deadlines for the EQIP General and special Initiatives are April 17 and May 15. Check in with your state or county NRCS office for additional EQIP application information, as rules vary from state to state.

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Workshops- Throughout March and April
This program, also known as FMLFPP, funds direct producer-to-consumer marketing channels and local and regional food business enterprises that act as intermediaries between producers and consumers. USDA and its partners are offering FMLFPP grant assistant workshops in 44 states throughout March and April of 2015 to help get potential applicants up to speed prior to submitting proposals. Access the full list of trainings with this interactive map.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – March 31 through June 10
The AFRI program provides research grants to academic and NGO research institutions to conduct research, education, and extension activities on a range of issues facing agricultural producers. Topics included in this year’s call for proposals include support for developing new and improved crop varieties,  local and regional food systems, farm-generated ecological services, and the profitability of the next generation of small and medium-sized farm owners and operators.  Program deadlines vary; see the RFA for specific deadlines. Proposals must be submitted through Grants.gov.

Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program – April 13
This program, also known as the 2501 Program, provides grants to organizations who provide outreach, resources, and technical assistance to address the specific needs of minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans entering farming. Institutions and non-profits with demonstrated experience working with underserved, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmer communities should apply by Monday, April 13 through Grants.gov.

Organic Transitions Research, Education, and Extension Program – April 16
The Organic Transitions Program supports the development and implementation of research and education programs to increase the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers. This year the Organic Transitions Program focuses on soil conservation and climate change mitigation provided by organic farming systems, and will also prioritize education tools for professional agricultural advisers and the integration of cultural practices and allowable alternatives for prohibited substances. Land grant institutions, Hispanic-serving agricultural institutions, and other public and private academic institutions should apply by Thursday, April 16 through Grants.gov.

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative – April 30
The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) is a competitive research program that funds research, education, and extension projects to enhance the ability of organic producers and processors to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products.  For 2015 OREI has eight priority areas including one new priority, the development of udergraduate and graduate curriculum in organics.  OREI is open to individuals and a wide range of organizations including non-profit organizations. Partnerships are encouraged between different types of eligible organizations including non-profits that work with organic producers.

Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants – May 12
Proposals for graduate student grants are due by midnight on May 12, 2015. Graduate Student proposals should address issues of current or potential importance to Northeast farmers and farm service professionals such as NRCS staff, Cooperative Extension, and researchers.Projects should explore the sustainable the themes of good stewardship, profitability, and quality of life for farmers and the farm community. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years.

Farm to School Grant Program – April 30 and May 20
The Farm to School Grant Program (F2S) provides grants on a competitive basis to schools, nonprofits, state and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to increase local food procurement for school meal programs and to expand educational activities on agriculture and food.  Applications for planning, implementation, and support service grants must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ESTWednesday, May 20, 2015.  Letters of intent and required attachments for training grants must be sent via email to farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov by 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, April 30, 2015.
Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program – May 14
This program, also known as FMLFPP funds direct producer-to-consumer marketing channels and local and regional food business enterprises that act as intermediaries between producers and consumers.
FMLFPP has announced funding available under two subprograms: $13.3 million for direct marketing grants (Farmers Market Promotion Program or FMPP) and $13.3 million for intermediated marketing grants (Local Food Promotion Program or LFPP).  Electronic applications must be submitted via Grants.gov by 5:00pm EST on ThursdayMay 14, 2015.
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program – May 14
The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) is a competitive grants program for state agencies and institutions designed to assist states with exploring new market opportunities and encouraging research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system.  FSMIP applications must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, May 14, 2015.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – July 8
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program provides grants on an annual basis to assist state departments of agriculture in enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops.  Often, states partner with nonprofit organizations, producer groups, and colleges and universities to develop their application and administer the program. States can use the block grants to supplement state-run specialty crop programs and/or make grants available for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.  Applications from state departments of agriculture for the SCBG program must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ESTJuly 8, 2015.  A listing of state contacts and application due dates for state-run specialty crop block grants can be found at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp
More information about the FMLFPP, F2S, FSMIP, and SCBG funding opportunities are available here.

For more information on program specifics and eligibility, consult NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs.

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