Grants

GOV. MCKEE, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS, DEM ANNOUNCE $700,000 PROGRAM FUNDING TO SUPPORT FOOD AND SEAFOOD BUSINESSES

October 24, 2022  “PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, leaders of the Rhode Island General Assembly, and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announce that $700,000 in Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) programming funding is available to help new and existing food businesses grow and flourish. Enacted in 2012 to “support and develop more robust and self-sustaining agricultural and seafood sectors,” LASA is an important catalyst in strengthening the local food system. Since its enactment 10 years ago, LASA has provided more than $1.4 million through individual program grants up to $20,000. …” Read full press release.
The 2022 programming funding priorities include:

  • Supporting the entry, growth, and sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers and fishers.
  • Supporting agriculture producers and fishers that are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
  • Supporting the development of new marketing, promotion, sales, and/or distribution channels.
  • Supporting the development of new products, including value-added processing capacity.
  • Fostering new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island agriculture producers and fishers and supporting organizations.
  • Fostering and building capacity for markets connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food insecure communities.
  • Protecting the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation, and assisting with on farm food safety improvements, including the developing of Food Safety Modernization Act and hazard analysis critical control point standards.

The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Application is CLOSED.

The LASA grant program supports Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry industries by investing in Rhode Island’s small and beginning farms. The goal is to support the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island.

The application period has closed.

LASA Grant Program Webpage


Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program  

In partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), the Office of Energy Resources offers a grant program specifically designed to support clean energy upgrades for Rhode Island farms.

The Agricultural Energy Grant Program provides awards of up to $20,000 for eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at RI Farms. The grant program has held two rounds of funding each year since 2016. The spring 2022 round awarded a total of $115,667 to help 6 different farms install rooftop and ground mount solar projects.  

This funding helps local farmers reduce their reliance on conventional fossil fuels while eliminating the energy-intensive carbon footprint of RI’s agricultural sector. Farmers can “green” their operations through the financial and environmental benefits offered by energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy procurement.

Funding for this program is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Since 2016, grants totaling over $892 thousand have supported a total of 50 projects.

Applications for the next funding round closed November 4, 2022. For access to applications and more information about the program, please visit: http://www.energy.ri.gov/policies-programs/programs-incentives/farms.php. 


Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is excited to announce a new grant:

Grants will range from $75,000 to $250,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required.
Total funds available: $1,000,000. 

This grant will support the research and development necessary to position Northeast dairy processors to make long term, impactful shifts in their businesses as it relates to economic and environmental sustainability.

Funded projects will be centered on developing alternatives to current industry standards through projects that are applicable, scalable, and replicable to other Northeast dairy processors. Topic areas may include, but are not limited to, sourcing, novel product development, alternative production solutions, transportation and distribution, supply chain, operations, employee welfare, marketing, and consumer experience.

Projects are required to include an information sharing or educational component targeted at small and

midsized dairy processors in the Northeast.

The Request For Applications is available on our website.  The application period is January 26th – March 23rd.
This grant is open to processors in all 11 NE states that we serve: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Who Is Eligibile?

Licensed dairy processors and producer associations from the Northeast are invited to apply. Educational or research institutions may apply but are required to partner with a minimum of two Northeast-based dairy processors.

$900K Now Available in Dairy Farm Innovation and Alternative Management Grant

Dairy Innovation & Alternative Management Grant [agriculture.vermont.gov]:  
Innovation is key to building enduring farm businesses and a sustainable regional food system.  This grant supports the implementation of community- and climate-forward practices and will fund projects that lead to improved ecological and economic outcomes, as well as benefit the broader dairy community.

Awards range from $15,000 – $75,000 with a 25% match commitment. Application deadline: February 2, 2023.

Additionally, we’re opening the Organic On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant [agriculture.vermont.gov] on December 15.

In alignment with the NE-DBIC’s ongoing funding priority to increase resiliency in the organic supply chain, and in response to the high demand for milk storage and handling upgrades in previous funding rounds, the NE-DBIC is announcing a supplemental Organic On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant.

This grant will fund the purchase of specialized equipment to help streamline milk pick-up, increase efficiencies around milk storage, and improve handling for both farmers and their processors.

Open to all organic dairy farmers, those who lost contracts with Horizon Organic and Maple Hill Creamery will be prioritized to help them successfully transition to new buyers.

Awards will range from $10,000- $50,000 with a 25% match commitment.  Total funds available equal $450,000.

Applications close February 9th.

“Innovation is a key component to the future success of our dairy industry, and we are excited to open this grant for our hard-working farmers to explore,” Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. “This investment in Vermont and our region recognizes that diversification and sound business management may make all the difference in a farms successful transition into the 21st century.”

Potential grant projects may range from creating new models for collaborative and cooperative milk production to increasing new and young farmer engagement, developing green technologies to improving appropriate farm-scale technologies, and developing alternative business ownership and management models to creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Open to applicants in 11 Northeast states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the Dairy Farm Innovation Grant supports farmers in taking a whole farm system approach and increasing collaboration with other farms or dairy sector stakeholders.

Individual grants of $15,000 to $75,000 are available with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required, totaling a $900,000 investment in innovative and alternative management systems across the Northeast. To build upon previous investment, projects coming from farmers who have received Grazing Transition, Forage Enhancement, or Alternative Farm Management Technical Assistance will receive priority access to $400,000 of the available grant funds.

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center is funded through USDA and hosted by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The NE-DBIC promotes the development, production, marketing, and distribution of dairy products through market research, technical assistance, and competitive grant rounds for dairy farmers and processors.

The Center’s investment and project strategy promotes innovation and resiliency for regional production of dairy products across an 11-state Northeast region. To date, the NE-DBIC has received $38.7 million from the USDA-AMS Dairy Business Innovation Initiative.

For more information on NE-DBIC and the Dairy Innovation & Alternative Management Grant, visit: www.agriculture.vermont.gov/dbic

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center has several upcoming opportunities available. 

For up-to-date information, please visit the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center.    

Tip*- Select “Activities” from the left-side menu.  This will show Upcoming, Current/Underway, and Past Grant opportunities.