Congress Passes New Farm Bill With Significant Mandatory Funding for USDA Grant Programs

December 12, 2018

With today’s congressional passage of the Agriculture & Nutrition Act of 2018 – more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill – funding has been approved (and in some cases significantly increased) for many of the grant programs Morrison works with on behalf of our clients.

To read brief summaries of the Farm Bill, which is expected to be signed by the President this week, you can check out the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 Summary or the Farm Bill Top 10 Highlights published by the House Agriculture Committee.

With Farm Bill funding now secured for several federal grant programs for the next five years, this is the most opportune time to initiate strategic grant planning, as you begin to plan for initiatives and projects for your non-profit, cooperative, trade association, or farm business. As mentioned above, we anticipate an increase in stable funding for the following programs: 

  • The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) supports agricultural producers entering into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added products. Morrison & Company experienced a 100% success rate on all applications we prepared for the latest funding round. Historically, grant awards have ranged from $75,000 - $250,000. Fiscal year 2019 funding for this program is expected to be $50 million; funding for the prior program year was $18 million.
  • The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) seeks to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of local and regional food businesses (including those that are not direct producer-to-consumer markets) that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. Historically, grant awards have ranged from $25,000 - $500,000.
  • The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) seeks to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs (CSA), agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Historically, grant awards have ranged from $50,000 - $500,000.
  • The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) seeks to support the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the US as they enter, establish, build, and manage successful farm and ranch enterprises. Historically, the maximum request has been up to $200,000 per year for up to three years. Fiscal year 2019 funding for this program is expected to be $30 million with increased funding each year for the next five years; funding for the prior program year was approximately $17.7 million. 

Although these programs have varying due dates, historically, the programs have opened for applications between the last calendar quarter of the year and the first calendar quarter of the year. Now is the time to begin preparations for these applications.

Morrison & Company has been writing grant applications on behalf of our clients in these programs for more than 16 years with a strong track record of success. If you have interest in a strategic grant planning session and/or learning about Morrison & Company’s grant writing services to apply for grant funding for these or any other programs, please contact Toni Scott at tscott@morrisonco.net or 530-809-4672.

Morrison & Company also works with a number of other state and local grant programs and we would be happy to chat with you about our work helping food and agriculture companies, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in their efforts to secure grant funding. 

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