New Funding Opportunities March 2022 Updates

Funding and Marketing Opportunities


Opportunity with rapidly approaching deadline:


Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) for a variety of private and public organizations

OREI is a competitive research grant program administered by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The purpose of OREI is to fund integrated projects to enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic products and to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. A variety of private and public organizations are eligible to apply and all applicants are encouraged to consult with organic producers. OREI has had a significant, positive impact on the profitability and productivity of organic farms of all kinds across the country.

Deadline: Applications can be accessed here or here to be submitted by March 31, 2022

Eligibility: Find detailed program and eligibility information here.

NSAC blog posts on organic and sustainable agriculture research


Federal opportunities opened within the last two weeks:

(Link to original text from NSAC

American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Programfor non-profits and higher education institutions

American Rescue Plan money is being invested in technical assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers via cooperative agreements. Nonprofits and higher-ed institutions may propose projects aimed towards providing a range of technical assistance services and can address several needs, including accessing USDA assistance, credit access, and more. The award range is a minimum of $500,000 to $3.5 million for a maximum of five years.

Apply: Applications are due June 1, 2022. Full application and eligibility information can be found here.

USDA Press Release

Full Request for Applications

Organic Transitions Program (ORG) for colleges and universities

To support the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers as well as those who are adopting organic practices. ORG will prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in soil conservation, pollinator health, and climate change mitigation as well as the development of educational tools for agricultural professionals and the development of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

Apply: This deadline is April 21, 2022. The opportunity is currently posted at and can be accessed directly using the following link: 2022 ORG or National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Organic Transitions Funding Opportunity. You can add the due date to your calendar at ORG Due Date

Contact Mathieu Ngouajio with questions or for additional information

Abstracts of previously funded projects

Full RFA

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Agricultural Systems (AFRI)for universities, nonprofits, small businesses, individuals, Tribal Governments, and other entities

AFRI supports approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system as the largest competitive grants research program offered by the USDA and is administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA seeks creative applications that take a systems approach for projects that are expected to significantly improve the supply of affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible agricultural products while fostering economic development and rural prosperity in America.

The application deadline is July 28, 2022. For more information on how to apply and eligibility requirements, see the Sustainable Agricultural Systems funding announcement.

Full RFA

NSAC blog posts on agricultural research initiatives

Reach out to the AFRI Coordination Team with any questions

AFRI Foundational and Applied Sciencefor universities, nonprofits, small businesses, individuals, Tribal Governments, and other entities 

The program supports single-function research, single-function extension, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants. Accepted project and grant types will vary by program area priority.

Apply: Applications are due by December 31, 2022. You can learn more about eligibility and apply for funding by clicking here.

Current AFRI Foundational and Applied Science RFA

AFRI RFA Resources 

Reach out to the AFRI Coordination Team with any questions

2501 Program aka Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Rancherscommunity-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities

Approximately $35 million in funding is now available to community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities that help historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms. The 2501 Program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE) and helps to ensure that historically underserved producers have equitable access to the information, programs, and opportunities that will help them to find success in agriculture. Organizations can apply for a maximum amount of $250,000 for a single year, with a grant maximum amount of $750,000 over a 3-year period and grants will be offered to three categories of applicants: minority serving academic institutions; non-profit, community-based organizations, and tribal governments; and academic institutions.

Apply: Applications must be submitted via by the deadline of June 8, 2022

Read about this opportunity on the NSAC Blog

Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher (SDA) definition

USDA will host two upcoming webinars to answer questions from potential grantees.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) – for networks and partnerships of public and private entities 

BFRDP is a competitive grant program that funds education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives directed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers of all types.The program is targeted especially to collaborative local, state, and regional networks and partnerships. It supports financial and entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and apprenticeship programs; “land link” programs that connect retiring farmers and landowners with new farmers; vocational training and agricultural rehabilitation programs for veterans; and education, outreach, and curriculum development activities to assist beginning farmers and ranchers. Grants have a term of 3 years and cannot exceed award amounts of $200,000 per year. For single year grants that are less than $50,000, USDA offers a simplified application process.

Apply: Apply here by May 19, 2022.

Full RFA

Link to NIFA program page

For more information contact Denis Ebodaghe

USDA will be hosting a Webinar for prospective applicants on April 6, 2022 from 2:00 to 4:00 ET. Join the webinar by clicking here.


Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) renewals due April 15th!

NRCS should have notified participants with active FY 2018 contracts of the opportunity to apply for renewal consideration by March 18, 2022. Participants applying for renewal must submit all needed documents covering their entire operation to NRCS by April 15, 2022. For assistance, please contact your state NRCS office.

Want to read more on CSP? Check out NSAC’s Guide to CSP and an NSAC blog post!


LAMP Subprograms

The Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG), the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) all have open funding opportunities outlined here. USDA AMS just released a new LAMP Stakeholder Toolkit to help organizations communicate these funding opportunities, including shareable graphics, sample email and social media outreach, and program information displayed in an easily digestible format.


Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG)for producers, organizations representing producers, cooperatives

VAPG is a subprogram of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) that provides competitive grants to create or expand value-added producer-owned businesses. “Value-added” goods are transformed or specially labeled raw agricultural products which can be sold at a higher cost than the raw input (i.e, cheese, canned goods, organic). Priority is given to projects that increase opportunities for small and mid-sized family farms, and/or for beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Deadline: April 25, 2022 for online applications and May 2, 2022 for paper applications. 

All materials for paper applications must be postmarked by May 2, 2022 and all electronic applications must be submitted via by April 25, 2022. You may also opt to submit your application via email or in-person at your local field office by May 2, 2022.

Eligibility:  Independent, individual agricultural producers, groups of agricultural producers, majority-controlled producer-based business ventures, farmer or rancher cooperatives. For more information on eligibility click here or visit our Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. Visit the USDA’s VAPG page for application toolkits, required documentation, and action steps.

NSAC’s comprehensive Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program

NSAC Blog: Value-Added Producer Grants are Now Open

NSAC Blog: VAPG Helps Farm and Food Entrepreneurs Bring Home the Bacon

USDA’s VAPG Grant Page

Contact your State Rural Development Coordinator with any questions.

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)many eligible entities!

FMLFPP is a competitive grants program that funds efforts to develop and strengthen direct-to-consumer marketing strategies and  support local and regional food businesses acting as intermediaries between producers and consumers. It consists of subprograms with two separate RFAs:

Deadline: Applications must be submitted through by May 16, 2022

Eligibility: Click here for more detailed information on eligibility.

FMLFPP contact email address

FMPP Awarded Grants, LFPP Awarded Grants

AMS will host a webinar on Tuesday, April 5, 2022


Regional Food System Partnerships Program (RFSP)for partnerships between entities

RFSP supports public-private partnerships focusing on increasing the availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products and alleviating administrative and technical barriers. The goal of RFSP is to encourage landscape-level approaches to planning and developing regional food economies through the formation of multi-stakeholder partnerships supporting on-the-ground projects. Projects can cover the planning, design, implementation, or expansion of local and regional food economies.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted through by May 16, 2022

Eligibility: Find detailed program and eligibility information here and here.

NSAC Blogs on Local & Regional Food Systems

RFSP Awarded Grants


Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP)for processors

Authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, MPPEP  provides grants to help eligible processors expand their capacity, to encourage competition and sustainable growth in the meat processing sector, and to help improve supply chain resiliency. Grant funds may be used to build or update processing facilities, develop or utilize equipment and technology, ensure compliance, and offset operating costs. There is no minimum award amount. We expect the announcement of a second round of grants targeted towards small and very small processors soon.

Deadline:  Extended to May 11, 2022. Applications must be submitted via,

Eligibility: Sole proprietor businesses that engage in meat and poultry processing. Find more information on application requirements here.

USDA Fact Sheet

USDA Press release

Questions can be submitted here or by email.

USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain website

USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commoditiesa wide range of entities eligible!

USDA will provide $1 billion in funds for partnerships to support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities via a set of pilot projects that will provide technical and financial assistance to producers who implement climate-smart practices on a voluntary basis on working lands; pilot innovative and cost-effective methods for quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas benefits; and market the resulting climate-smart commodities. The program will be broadly inclusive with added intention for the inclusion of small and underserved producers.

Deadline and eligibility:

Funding will be provided in two pools:

  • Large-scale proposals from $5 million – $100 million are due May 6, 2022 (extended deadline)
  • Proposal from $250,000 – $5 million are due June 10, 2022 (extended deadline)

Click here for detailed information on eligibility

Click here for the application and grant opportunity description. 

NSAC’s Blog

NSAC’s Press Release

USDA Press Release


Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)for organizations to support farmers

RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (RCPP AFA) are open for applications. RCPP enables state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and other entities to partner regionally with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on special projects to promote farmer adoption of conservation activities to address key natural resource concerns. Once NRCS selects proposals from these entities, farmers and ranchers are able to apply through NRCS to participate in an RCPP project. The RCPP AFA component is intended to support project structures and approaches that cannot be carried out as effectively through RCPP Classic.

Deadline:  The deadline to submit proposals is April 13th, 2022.

Eligibility:  Non-profit groups, conservation districts, or other state or local agencies may put together proposals. Find the specifics of eligibility here in our Grassroots Guide. 

Here is information on how to apply. 

Read more:

FY 2022 RCPP Classic National Funding Opportunity

FY 2022 RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangement National Funding Opportunity

RCPP Critical Conservation Areas

NSAC’s Blog Post on FY 2021 RCPP Awards

Grassroots Guide