The USDA is making $30 million available to farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs to develop new product lines. These Value Added Producer Grants can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or additional uses for already developed product lines. Special priority will be given to military veterans, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and applicants that propose mid-tier value chain projects. The deadline to submit paper applications is July 7. Electronic applications submitted through grants.gov are due July 2. View the full press release here.
Working Farms News
A new program is available to advanced beginning farmers to receive support from a New Farmer Profit Team. This initiative seeks to improve the long-term success of advanced beginning farmers by providing selected farmers with customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals (financial, production, legal, marketing, etc.) over an 18-mo to 2-year period. The application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, click here. This project is a collaboration of the Cornell Small Farms Program, NY Farm Viability Institute, and NY FarmNet, made possible with funding from NYFVI and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. With questions, please contact Matt Weiss, 607 255 9911.
Monday, March 16, 2015; 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Columbia Greene Community College
Room 612, 440 Route 23, Hudson NY 12534
(Room 612 is located in the PAC–Professional Academic Center–on the ground floor. Use parking lot “A-B” and the PAC is located in the rear.)
This workshop is designed to introduce beginning farmers in the Hudson Valley to the organizations, tools and programs that are available to help them access farmland.
Featuring presentations by: Equity Trust, The National Young Farmers Coalition, American Farmland Trust, and other land trusts and agricultural stakeholders.
The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion and open networking session to allow farmers to ask questions of service providers in their area and discuss their land access challenges and needs. Snacks will be provided.
RSVP: Space is limited! To attend, please contact Dave Llewellyn.
Rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply to USDA for resources to purchase and install renewable-energy systems or make energy-efficiency improvements. USDA announced that it is making more than $280 million available to eligible applicants in the form of grants and loans through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Application deadlines vary by project type and the type of assistance requested. Find more information.
Training 1: March 31. 9:30am-3:30pm. Jordan Hall, NYS Ag Experiment Station in Geneva, NY
Training 2: April 2. 9:30am-3:30pm. State Office Building, 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY.
USDA AMS is providing technical assistance training on two grants – the Local Foods Promotion Grants Program and the Farmers Market Promotion Grants Program. The purpose is to improve the quality of the applications that are received especially from small grassroots groups working in our communities to improve food access and food security. Click here for more information.
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of more than $16 million in funding to support research, education and Extension efforts to improve food production and increase food security, defined as regular access to affordable, nutritious food. NIFA is funding the grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security program. A letter of intent is due April 2, 2015, and full applications are due June 4, 2015. Please see the request for applications for specific program requirements.
Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have until February 27 to submit their initial applications to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Applications are accepted anytime throughout the year for CSP, but if they miss the February 27 2015 cut-off, then their application will not be considered until 2016.
The initial process to sign up is easy. Applications should be submitted to local NRCS offices. As part of the CSP application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete a resource inventory of their land, which will help determine the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. For more information, click here.