Thursday, March 10, 2016

USDA funding available for local food systems and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

$26 Million Now Available in Grant Funding for Local Food Systems.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is making over $26 million in grant funding available to strengthen local and regional food systems through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and hosting a series of webinars to help farmers markets, producers groups, and other potential applicants with the grant process.  
These programs support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, and projects designed to expand local and regional food business intermediary supply chain activities, including processing, distribution, aggregation, and storage of locally- or regionally-produced food products.

Grant applications must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov and are due by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on May 12, 2016.

$62 Million in Grant Funding Available to Assist the Specialty Crop Industry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is making more than $62 million in grant funding available to support specialty crop producers through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).  SCBGP grants are allocated to U.S. states and territories for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research and other programs to increase demand.

Those interested in applying should do so directly through their state departments of agriculture, which administer a competitive grant process.  A listing of the SCBGP’s state contacts, and how to apply with state application due dates, can be found at  https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp.

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