Sep 30, 2020$27M in grants to boost markets for local, regional agricultural products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced Sept.30 it has awarded $27 million in grant funding through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) and $9.3 million in grant funding through the new Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) grant program.
According to a news release, these awards were selected through a rigorous competitive review process. The grants fall under the Local Agricultural Marketing Program authorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). The grants require matching funds in the form of cash and/or in-kind contribution equal to 25 percent of the total Federal portion of the grant.
FMLFPP supports the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer to consumer markets and local and regional food business enterprises. USDA awarded projects in 37 states and 3 territories.
- Awards totaling approximately $13.5 million were made to 49 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) projects. These projects develop, coordinate and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets including farmers markets, roadside stands, agritourism activities, community-supported agriculture programs (CSA) and online sales. These projects are funded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2020.
- Awards totaling approximately $13.5 million were made to 44 Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) projects. These projects support and promote local and regional food business enterprises that serve as intermediaries in indirect producer-to-consumer marketing; support the processing, aggregation, distribution and storage of local and regional food products that are marketed locally or regionally, including value-added agricultural products; and assist with business development plans and feasibility studies. These projects are funded for either an 18-month planning grant or a 3-year implementation grant beginning Sept. 30, 2020.
RFSP supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The program focuses on strengthening the viability and resilience of regional food economies through collaboration and coordination. USDA awarded 23 partnerships in 15 states. These projects are funded for a two- or three-year period beginning September 30, 2020.
- Awards totaling $2.5 million were made to 13 Planning & Design projects. This funding supports partnerships in the early stages of convening, envisioning, and planning processes for developing local or regional food systems.
- Awards totaling $6.8 million were made to 10 Implementation & Expansion projects. This funding supports partnerships building on prior or ongoing efforts within a local or regional food system.
The AMS Grants Division works to improve opportunities for U.S. growers and producers. AMS works with a variety of organizations to support rural America and the nation’s agricultural sector.
For additional information, visit the AMS Grants & Opportunities web page.