This week we are featuring the Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Programs, the CSX and the Conservation Fund Transporting Healthy Food Grants, and the USDA Value Added Producer Grants.
NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Deadline: December 3, 2019
Funding Amount: Up to $10,000,000
Eligible Entities: Governments, institutions of higher education, farmers cooperatives, agricultural producer organization, or a conservation district.
Overview: RCPP's goal is to improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat while protecting agricultural viability for farmers. Successful projects include land management/land improvement/restoration practices, land rentals, entity- or United States-held easements, public works and watersheds. The most successful RCPP projects use innovative conservation tactics, leverage partner contributions, offer impactful solutions, and include a diverse and capable set of partners.
CSX and The Conservation Fund Transporting Healthy Food Grant
Deadline: November 27, 2019
Funding Amount: $2,500 to $10,000
Eligible Entities: Government entities, 501c3 Non-profits or local food distributors
Overview: CSX Railroads in partnership with the Conservation Fund is offering grants to help improve healthy fresh food access. The grants can be used to acquire the equipment needed to maintain food quality and safety as applicants sell, store, package, and distribute fresh produce and other foods. It can purchase refrigerator trucks or trailers, mobile markets, veggie vans, or mobile processing facilities that will be used to transport fresh food to vulnerable and underserved populations. Preference will be given to projects in food deserts, and to projects that serve the most people.
USDA Value Added Producer Grant
Deadline: Currently closed, expected to open soon
Funding Amounts: Planning - up to $75,000; Working Capital - up to $250,000. Dollar to dollar match required.
Eligible Entities: Agricultural producers and producer groups
Overview: The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program is a great opportunity for farmers looking to add value to their raw agricultural commodities. The most popular methods to add value are: change in physical state (think milk to cheese, cow to steak, berries to jelly); marketing it locally (premium for local products); and produced in a manner that enhances value (think organic or sustainable). These grants require a dollar-for-dollar match, but some of the match can be met with in-kind contributions. Successful applicants must show how they will increase their sales and expand their customer base with the project funds.