Upcoming Funding Opportunities

The following are funding opportunities, some open to farmers and ranchers, others to institutions serving agricultural producers or rural communities. Most of the following funding opportunities have mid-July 2013 application due dates. National Water Quality Initiative Through the National Water Quality Initiative, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will work with farmers and ranchers in 165 small watersheds to improve water quality. $35 million in financial assistance is available. Applications for funding in fiscal year 2013 is due July 12, 2013 USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loans REAP is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s energy needs. Applications are due by July 15, 2013 Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG) USDA Rural Business—Cooperative Service is requesting proposals from applicants that will provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. The maximum award per grant is $200,000. Applications are due by July 15; online submissions are due July 10, 2013

Rural Cooperative Development Grants Grants of up to $200,000 are awarded competitively on an annual basis to Rural Cooperative Development Centers who in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other businesses. Nonprofit corporations or institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. Funds may be used to pay for 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating centers for rural cooperative development. Application deadline is July 15, 2013  Specialty Crop Block Grant--Farm Bill State departments of agriculture interested in obtaining grant program funds to enhance competitiveness of specialty crops are invited to submit applications to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Applications must be received by July 10, 2013 Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Grants Program The Leopold Center is accepting pre-proposals for research and project grants under its annual grants program. Investigators must represent an Iowa nonprofit organization, agency or educational institution to be eligible. 2013 focus areas include: soil health, food hubs, and identifying and managing vulnerabilities. Pre-proposals are due by July 19, 2013 Maryland Cover Crop Program The Maryland Department of Agriculture, provides grants of up to $55/acre to farmers who agree to plant cover crops on their fields in the fall to conserve nutrients, reduce soil erosion, and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Enrollment closes July 15, 2013 Howard County Agricultural Innovation Grant The Howard County Economic Development Authority is accepting applications for the 2013 Agricultural Innovation Grant. The purpose of the grant is to encourage Howard County’s agricultural producers to expand or diversify their business operations. Eligible applicants must be a crop or livestock producer or processor, agricultural cooperative, seafood processor or timber products processor. Grants range from $1,000-$10,000. Money from the grant may be used for research and development, production buildings, major fixtures, processing facilities or to address other agriculture-related business needs. To be eligible for the grant, the applicant must provide matching funds and/or materials of an equal amount to the grant received. The deadline to apply is July 15, 2013  

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