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USDA Programs and Funding Opportunities

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Several USDA fund managers present their opportunities for Good Food work.

September 17, 2009: Programs and Funding Opportunities from the USDA


Participants in the National Good Food Network had a unique opportunity to communicate directly with several key people at the USDA about upcoming funding opportunities. Debra Tropp, Branch Chief, Marketing Services Division, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service moderated a panel of grant managers from across USDA agencies.

Webinar Recording



USDA Grants

Grant Site RFA
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Programs Site

Agricultural Prosperity for Small and Medium-sized Farms Site
( p. 104 )
Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Site RFA
Community Food Projects
Farmers Market Promotion Program Site RFA (2009)
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program Site
Healthy Urban Enterprise Development Center
Site RFA
Rural Development Business Programs Site
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program Site1
Value-Added Producer Grant Program Site


Questions and Answers

I am working on a project to develop a connection between local Illinois growers and “grocery-challenged” urban areas of Chicago (often referred to as “food deserts”).  This project is in the formative stage, but is in partnership with an umbrella 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  Support is provided by the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization who will serve as fiscal agent and will also contribute to developing the project. My question is this: are there USDA grant restrictions which would prohibit funding this project, as it is not an independent 501(c)(3) organization?  Or, can we fund through the 501(c)(3) parent organization?

Our stipulation is that the 501(c)(3) applicant have a substantial involvement in the project.  In the case you described, it sounds as if the umbrella 501(c)(3) likely has enough involvement to make it OK.  We put the requirement of “substantial involvement” into our RFAs so that the involvement is real. (Elizabeth Tuckermanty, Ph.D.)

Our Healthy Urban Enterprise Development Center is a national model urban fish farm.  The project is unique in that it sets aside a portion of the Jobs on the farm for ex-offender re-entry into our Philadelphia Community as well apprentices exchange with the Lakota Sioux Reservation at Pine Ridge! The closing date for Healthy Urban Enterprise Development Center has passed when is the next funding round and whom should we be talking to get an advance review of our projects chances of funding?
At this point we only have funds for solicitation for 1 national center for Healthy Food Enterprise Development, which is closed.  Congress put a small amount of funds into this concept in the Farm Bill of 2008.  I hear from all over how vital this type of center is for every region/state/locale and I heartily agree.  We hope this one center will do all that the legislation asks of it in such a way that it will be a demonstration that will get more funding in the future.  There is clearly a lot of support for this type of thing in the current administration in Washington, but funding will need to follow for it to be realized across the country. (Elizabeth Tuckermanty, Ph.D)


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