These USDA Rural Development grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Awards may be made for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000. Rural Development is encouraging applications that will support communities in urban or rural areas, with limited access to healthy foods and with a high poverty and hunger rate.
Ten percent of available funds are reserved to fund applications submitted by Beginning Farmers or Ranchers and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers as defined at 7 CFR 4284.902. An additional 10 percent of available funds are reserved to fund Mid-Tier Value Chain projects (both collectively referred to as ‘‘reserved funds’’). Grants made to Majority Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures may not exceed 10 percent of the total funds obligated for the program in the fiscal year.
This program has a $37M budget and is anticipating approximately 250 awards.