Funding

Title Organizationsort ascending Grant Deadline Description Category Funding Amount Geography Website
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program USDA

Past Deadline: May 16, 2019. Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can generally be traced back to the advent of the 1862 and 1890 Morrill Land-Grant Acts. But, for the first time, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234, Section 7410) appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are as follows: the rising average age of U.S. farmers; the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018; and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill) reauthorized the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and provides mandatory funds for which supports education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers and ranchers.

ranchers, Farm Bill, outreach, programs food $600,000- $50,000 National Link
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Water for Agriculture Challenge Area USDA

Deadline passed as of August 4, 2016. Deadline for 2017 unknown. This AFRI Challenge Area addresses critical water resources issues such as drought, excess soil moisture, flooding, quality and others in an agricultural context. Funding will be used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, public decision makers, public and private managers, and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality. The long-term goal of the AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area is to tackle critical water issues by developing both regional systems for the sustainable use and reuse, flow and management of water, and at the watershed and farm scales, water issues focused on production and environmental sustainability efforts. Project types supported within this Challenge area are multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects and Food and Agricultural Enhancement (FASE) Grants.

Water Resources, Drought, Flooding, Water Quality, Agriculture varies, total program funding $10,700,000 National Link
Rural Energy Pilot Program (REPP) USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: April 19, 2022. USDA has opened up grant applications for communities to further develop renewable energy through REPP. Funds can be used to support community energy planning, community efficiency and weatherization, installing and equipping community scale renewable energy. Learn more and apply here.

Renewable energy, rural areas, efficiency, weatherization, community development Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of cost-share grants for up to 80 percent of total eligible project costs, not to exceed $2 million. National Link
Solid Waste Management Grant Program USDA

Deadline Passed 12/31/2018. Deadline Unknown for 2019. Funds may be used to: Evaluate current landfill conditions to determine threats to water resources in rural areas; provide technical assistance and/or training to enhance operator skills in the maintenance and operation of active landfills in rural areas; provide technical assistance and/or training to help associations reduce the solid waste stream; and provide technical assistance and/or training for operators of landfills in rural areas which are closed or will be closed in the near future with the development/implementation of closure plans, future land use plans, safety and maintenance planning, and closure scheduling within permit requirements. 

water resources, landfill conditions, technical assistance, solid waste management up to $1,000,000 Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Coastal, Alaska Link
Intermediary Relending Program USDA

Applications accepted year round. This program provides 1 percent low-interest loans to local intermediaries that re-lend to businesses to improve economic conditions and create jobs in rural communities.

rural communities, local economy, jobs, development $250,000; or 75 % of the total cost of the ultimate recipient's project for which the loan is being made, whichever is less. Rural Areas Link
USDA Housing Preservation Grants USDA

Deadline Passed 08/09/2018. Deadline Unknown for 2019. The USDA is seeking applications for grants to preserve and repair housing for very-low- and low-income families living in rural areas. The funds are being made available through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program.

Infrastructure, public health, rural housing Varies Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska, Midwest Link
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program USDA

Deadline Passed 10/01/2018. Deadline Unknown for 2019. This program assists in the development, construction, and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies for the development of Advanced Biofuels, Renewable Chemicals, and Biobased Product Manufacturing by providing loan guarantees for up to $250 million. Letters of intent are due 9/1/2018.

biofuels, renewable chemicals, biobased products, renewable energy, manufacturing, development varies National Link
Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program USDA

Deadline passed as of May 25, 2017. Deadline for 2018 unknown. The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program helps improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping non-profit corporations or higher education institutions in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through cooperative development.

Rural Development, Economic development, Business Development, Community Development, management, infrastructure, local economy, Maximum Grant Amount up to $200,000 National Link
Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP) USDA

The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA-HIP) encourages private landowners to voluntarily make their land available to the public for wildlife-dependent recreation. States and tribes approved for funding of this Farm Service Agency (FSA) program use the funds as incentives to encourage private landowners of farms, ranches, and forests to make that land available to the public for wildlife-dependent recreation. This may include hunting or fishing. The overall goal of VPA-HIP is to enhance wildlife habitat and management and to boost local economies through activities that attract wildlife enthusiasts.

Conservation, recreation varies Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska, Midwest Link
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program USDA

Applications are accepted year round. Provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to:

  • Provide microloans to help microenterprises startup and growth through a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund
  • Provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs
business development, rural areas, microenterprise Up to $50,000 Rural Areas Link
Northwest Climate Hub USDA

Deadline passed as of December 5, 2016. Deadline for 2017 unknown.

Contingent upon available funds the Northwest Climate Hub requests proposals to support our mission to serve farms, forests and rangelands in a changing climate. An estimated amount of $350,000 is available for approximately 5-10 projects. There are additional funds available (at least $50,000) to fund one proposal that is designed to assist the NW Climate Hub in serving Alaska, such as efforts focused on Alaska meeting its food security needs under climate change.
Alaska, agriculture, wilderness, climate change, adaptation, mitigation Varies. 5-10 intended awards with up to $350,000 total program funding. Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Unties States, West Coast Link
USDA Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program USDA

Applications are accepted year round. Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses. Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation
Renewable energy, Agriculture, small businesses $1,500-$500,000 National, agriculture & small rural business Link
Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: 03/31/2019. The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly. The utility is responsible for repayment to USDA.

Economic Development, Rural Development, Grants and Loans Up to $300,000 in grants may be requested to establish the RLF Up to 10 percent of grant funds may be applied toward operating expenses over the life of the RLF Up to $2 million in loans may be requested National Link
Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities: First Funding Pool USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: April 8, 2022. Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects must focus on the on-farm, on-ranch or forest production of climate-smart commodities and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and/or carbon sequestration. Proposals from $5 million to $100 million are in the first funding pool and should include large-scale pilot projects that emphasize the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and include direct, meaningful benefits to a representative cross-section of production agriculture, including small and/or historically underserved producers. Learn more and apply here.

Rural communities, agriculture, forestry, farmers, ranchers, emissions reduction, climate solutions, resilience $5 million to $100 million National Link
National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program USDA

Deadline passed as of June 15, 2016. Deadline for 2017 unknown.The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council is seeking innovative grants proposals for program development, research, and collaboration to address the following two strategic priority issues: proposals that demonstrate the connection between the personal benefits of urban forests and quality of life within a community through community engagement; and proposals that design an urban forestry recruitment program and retention strategies that support existing urban forestry academic curricula. Urban and community forests demonstrate benefits including urban heat island reduction. NOTE: Pre-proposals are due by June 17, see website for details.

Research, Health, Natural Resources, Land, Conservation, Mitigation, Adaptation, Wildlife Individual awards of up to $600,000 Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska Link
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees USDA 12/31/2022

Rolling Deadline. This program bolsters the availability of private credit by guaranteeing loans for rural businesses.

Rural areas, business development, credit, local economy Up to $25 million Rural Areas Link
USDA Community Connect Grants USDA

Deadline passed as of June 17, 2016. Deadline for 2017 unknown. The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.

Development, Internet varies National, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Alaska Link
Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities: Second Funding Pool. USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: June 10, 2022. Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects must focus on the on-farm, on-ranch or forest production of climate-smart commodities and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and/or carbon sequestration. Proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999 are in the second funding pool and are limited to particularly innovative pilot projects. These projects should place an emphasis on: enrollment of small and/or underserved producers; and/or monitoring, reporting and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions. Learn more and apply here.

Rural communities, innovation, underserved communities, agriculture, forestry, farmers, ranchers, emissions reduction, climate solutions, resilience $250,000 - $4,999,999 National Link
Demonstration Projects to End Child Hunger USDA

The purpose of the demonstration projects is to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger, including alternative models for service delivery and benefit levels that promote the reduction or elimination of childhood hunger and food insecurity. Projects may include enhanced SNAP benefits for eligible households with children; enhanced benefits or innovative program delivery models in school meals, afterschool snacks programs, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program; and other targeted Federal, State or local assistance, including refundable tax credits, emergency housing, employment and training, or family preservation services, for households with children who are experiencing food insecurity.

Health, Hunger varies Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska, Midwest Link
Multi-Family Housing Direct Loans USDA

Applications accepted year round. This program provides competitive financing for affordable multi-family rental housing for low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals and families in eligible rural areas. This program assists qualified applicants that cannot obtain commercial credit on terms that will allow them to charge rents that are affordable to low-income tenants.

housing, rural communities, multi-family housing, improvement, development varies Rural Areas Link
USDA Local Foods, Local Places Program (Obama Admin Archives) USDA

Grant deadline unknown for 2016. Communities are invited to apply for assistance from Local Foods, Local Places, a new program supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to help create more livable places by promoting local foods. Priorities given to communities within Appalachia and surrounding regions, see application for more details.

public health, Agriculture, food justice, sustainability, human health, disease, local, economy Varies Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska, Midwest Link
New Beginning for Tribal Students Program USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: March 30, 2022. New Beginning for Tribal Students makes competitive grants to land-grant colleges and universities to provide identifiable support specifically targeted for tribal students. A land-grant college or university that receives this grant shall use funds for, but not limited to, recruiting; tuition and related fees; experiential learning; student services, including tutoring; counseling; academic advising; and other student services that would increase the retention and graduation rate of tribal students enrolled at the land-grant college or university. Learn more and apply here.

Tribal students, higher education, experiential learning, academic success Up to $500,000 National Link
Multi-Family Housing Loan Guarantees USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: 12/31/2021.The program works with qualified private-sector lenders to provide financing to qualified borrowers to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in eligible rural areas and towns. Construction, improvement and purchase of multi-family rental housing for low to moderate income families and individuals is the primary objective for this program. Funding may also be available for:

  • Buying and improving land
  • Providing necessary infrastructure
  • For a complete list see Code of Federal Regulations, 7CFR Part 3565.205
housing, rural communities, development, infrastructure varies Rural Areas Link
Rural Housing Site Loans USDA

Applications accepted year round. Rural Housing site loans provide two types of loans to purchase and develop housing sites for low- and moderate-income families:

  • Section 523 loans are used to acquire and develop sites only for housing to be constructed by the Self-Help method. Refer to RD Instruction 1944-I for more information about the Self-Help program
  • Section 524 loans are made to acquire and develop sites for low- or moderate-income families, with no restriction as to the method of construction. Low-income is defined as between 50-80% of the area median income (AMI); the upper limit for moderate income is $5,500 above the low-income limit
housing, rural communities, development varies Rural Areas Link
REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program USDA

Deadline Passed 01/31/2020. Deadline Unknown for 2021. REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program.Refer to Application Package AND Application Instruction links to obtain all necessary forms for a complete application

Renewable energy, Infrastructure, Development up to $100,000 Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, National, Alaska Link
Alaska Native-Service and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants Program USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: April 4, 2022. The purpose of this program is to promote and strengthen the ability of Alaska Native-Serving Institutions and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions to carry out education, applied research, and related community development programs in food and agricultural sciences-related disciplines. Priority will be given to those projects that enhance educational equity for underrepresented students; strengthen institutional educational capacities; prepare students for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resource systems of the United States; and maximize the development and use of resources to improve food and agricultural sciences teaching programs. Learn more and apply here.

Alaska Native-serving institutions, Native Hawaiian-serving institutions, agricultural sciences, career development, equity $150,000 - 1,000,000 National Link
Water & Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees USDA

Applications accepted year round. This program helps private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. Funds may be used to Construct or improve facilities for:

  • Drinking water
  • Sanitary sewers
  • Solid waste disposal
  • Storm water disposal facilities
water quality, water quantity, waste disposal, rural communities, business, development varies Rural Areas Link
USDA Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants USDA

The USDA Rural Business Cooperative-Service Agency is accepting applications for Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance grants to establish programs to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.

Renewable energy, Agriculture, small businesses Unspecified National Link
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (2501 Program) USDA

Deadline passed as of July 29, 2016. Deadline for 2017 unknownThe 2501 Program provides funding to eligible organizations for training and technical assistance projects designed to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating viable agricultural enterprises. The 2501 Program extends USDA's capacity to work with members of farming and ranching communities by funding projects that enhance the equitable participation of socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA programs. It is OAO's (Office of Advocacy and Outreach) intention to build lasting relationships between USDA, awardee organizations, and socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers.

agricultural, food security, veterans, ranching, environmental justice, technical assistance, business, Award amounts vary; total program funds $8.4 million. National, Rural Link
Local Food Purchase Assistance Program USDA

Deadline passed. Most recent deadline: April 5, 2022. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will establish cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments for the purpose of supporting local, regional, and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers through food purchasing under the Build Back Better Initiative. These cooperative agreements will allow for entities to procure local, domestic foods that are unique to their geographic area and meet the needs of the populations. In addition to increasing local food consumption, funds are expected to help build and expand economic opportunity for local and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers. Learn more and apply here.

Food assistance, economic opportunity, food storage, food distribution National Link

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