Grant Opportunities

NRCS announces Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production Competitive Grants Program – United States

NRCS announces Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production Competitive Grants Program – United States

Deadline: 6 July 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking applications for the Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

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Purpose and Priorities

UAIP supports the development of urban agriculture and innovative production activities by funding Planning Projects (PP) and Implementation Projects (IP) led by nonprofit organizations, local or Tribal governments, and schools that serve any of the grades K-12 in areas of the United States. PPs and IPs should target a single or multiple urban areas, suburbs, or urban clusters in the United States where access to fresh foods is limited or unavailable and should include one or more partner organizations to achieve project goals within the target area(s).

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Project Types

Planning Projects (PP)
The purpose of PP is to support the development of projects that will either initiate, build upon, or expand the efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs.
PPs may be designed to:
Develop recommendations for implementing community gardens and farms that respond to community needs as it relates to how food is grown, distributed, and marketed in target area(s);
Facilitate urban agriculture assessments and identify opportunities that connect community needs with the benefits of urban agriculture such as food access, nutrition education, conservation, innovation, and economic development;
Support the development of business plans, feasibility studies, and strategies to help offset start-up costs for new and beginning farmers in urban and suburban areas;
Provide support for municipal planning that consider policies to meet the growing needs of and zoning for community gardens and farms, rooftop farms, outdoor vertical production, green walls, indoor farms, greenhouses, high-tech vertical technology farms, and hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities; or
Assist schools that seek to increase knowledge of food and agricultural disciplines such as nutrition, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to develop and implement programs that create future leaders, farmers, gardeners, and entrepreneurs in agriculture and innovative production.
Implementation Projects (IP)
The purpose of IP is to accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers or gardeners. IPs should improve access to local food in the target area(s).
IPs may be designed to:
Facilitate the development of entrepreneurial projects by offering needed resources, such as job training, land, equipment, mentoring, and other business development assistance to new and beginning farmers;
Increase food production in small urban and indoor spaces with emerging technologies such as vertical farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, rooftop farms, etc.;
Operate community gardens or nonprofit farms to educate a community on food systems, nutrition, environmental impacts, and agricultural production and/or to offer hands-on training in farming or gardening;
Meet specific state, local, or community food and agricultural needs by assisting municipalities, food producers, community organizations, and schools with policies for community gardens and farms that address food access, soil health, emerging technologies, and agricultural business; or
Provide schools with resources to incorporate and emphasize the importance of growing and consuming nutritious food as well as training students for careers in agriculture.
Funding Information

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Approximately $3,000,000 will be available to fund applications under this solicitation.
Approximately $1,000,000 is available for Planning Projects (PP). The funding floor for PP is $200,000 and the funding ceiling is $500,000.
Approximately $2,000,000 is available for Implementation Projects (IP). The funding floor for IP is $100,000 and the funding ceiling is $300,000.
Duration

Projects may be between 1 and 3 years in duration. Applicants should plan their projects based on a project start date of September 15, 2020.

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Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types:
Tribal governments
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education)
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education)
A unit of local government
Any school that serves any of the grades kindergarten through grade 12.
Applications will be accepted from eligible entities in any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=326802

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