USDA Program Funding Opportunities:
Value-Added Producer Grant Notice for Solicitation of Applications (NOSA)
USDA is currently accepting applications to the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, which provides competitive grants to farmers to create or expand value-added producer-owned businesses. With at least $37 million dollars in funding, VAPG is one of the only grant programs for producers and can help family farmers and ranchers diversify their operations, grow their businesses, and become less dependent on commodity markets. Program deadlines are March 10, 2020 (for in-person or mail applications) and March 5, 2020 (for electronic applications). For more information, see the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s updated Farmers’ Guide to VAPG, available at our publications page: https://sustainableagriculture.net/publications/, and the recent NSAC blog post at https://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/37-million-value-added-producer-grant-2020/.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) application deadline Feb 13, 2020. http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/14-million-available-to-help-train-the-next-generation-of-farmers/
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) includes small grants (up to $20K) for producers to install solar, wind, or energy efficiency infrastructure. Apply by March 31, 2020. For more info, visit https://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/reap-rfp-for-rural-renewable-energy-projects/.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) signup for the 2020 season is underway. Inquire at your local NRCS district office, or visit the State office web site, https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/va/home/.
Conservation Reserve Program general signup closes February 28. This program pays land owners who take environmentally sensitive land out of production for a contract period of 10 to 15 years. For more information, see NSAC blog post Dec 18, 2019:
Organic Transitions Program (ORG) application deadline is February 27, 2020
State Program Funding Opportunity
Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. $73 million to help farmers implement cover crops, nutrient management, IPM, riparian buffers, fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and more. Available through June, 2020 or until funds exhausted. Details in July, 2019 e-newsletter and at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/costshar2. To apply, visit your Soil and Water Conservation District office.