Upcoming USDA Program and Grant Deadlines

Reposted from our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition:

In case you haven’t kept track of all of the blogs we’ve posted about USDA conservation and competitive grant programs over the past few months, here is a handy summary of the USDA programs with upcoming enrollment or application deadlines:

Sign-up Deadlines for USDA Conservation Programs:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative, administered by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), provides financial and technical assistance to certified organic producers and producers transitioning to organic to help plan and implement conservation practices on their operations. Deadline for 2011 sign-up: March 4, 2011. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis through your local NRCS office.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), administered by the Farm Services Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term conservation practices on eligible farmland. Land can be enrolled for a period of up to 15 years. For more information, read our most recent blog post on CRP here, or visit the USDA CRP website here. The 40th general sign-up will be held from March 14-April 14, 2011.

Application Deadlines for USDA Competitive Grant Research Programs:

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) funds projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. For more information, read our blog post about OREI from this grant cycle here, or visit the USDA OREI website here. Deadline: February 10.

Pest Management Alternatives Program (PMAP) provides support for the development and implementation of integrated pest management practices, tactics, and systems for specific pest problems while reducing human and environmental risks. For more information, visit the USDA PMAP website here. Deadline: March 3.

AFRI Foundational Program supports research grants in the six Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) priority areas: plant health and production; animal health and production; food safety, nutrition, and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. For more information, read our blog post about the current grant cycle here, or visit the USDA AFRI Foundation Program page here. Deadline: Various, but March 23 for some priority areas.

Application Deadlines for Other USDA Competitive Grant Programs:

Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grant Program funds outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to connect them with USDA programs. For more information, see the RFP from this grant cycle here, or read the program’s page in our Grassroots Guide to the Farm Bill here. Deadline: February 15.

Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) provides matching funds through State Departments of Agriculture and other State agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. For more information, read our blog post about the current grant cycle here, or visit the USDA FSMIP website here. Deadline: February 17.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) provide grants via State Departments of Agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Program objectives included marketing and promotion, education, research, food production, food safety, and pest and plant health. Read our blog post on the 2010 awards here. Applications can be submitted to State Departments of Agriculture. Deadline: Application deadlines vary by state; find your state contact here.

Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) provide grants to farmers and groups of farmers to establish value-adding enterprises. USDA has yet to announce the next grant round, but we expect that announcement very soon and will alert readers as soon as it is public.

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.