Grants

Mini Improvements Grant to Aid RI Farms

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Mini Grant Program

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – Division of Agriculture (RIDEM) is pleased to announce the availability of up to $275,000 of funding in grant opportunities to assist eligible Rhode Island farmers and food businesses.

RIDEM will offer and provide a mini grant program for eligible expenses related to COVID-19 that benefit the production and distribution of Rhode Island specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, horticulture and floriculture. Throughout the pandemic three areas have impacted Rhode Island Specialty crop production and marketing – Food Safety, Digital Marketing and direct COVID-19 expenses.

RIDEM will award mini grants from $2,500- $10,000 for projects enhancing the competitiveness of Rhode Island specialty crops. In response to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, the USDA Office of Management and Budget has provided flexibilities to grant applicants and grant recipients. This additional funding has been allotted to states to assist farms with the impacts of COVID-19. Funds must still meet the requirements of SCBGP, but there is an emphasis on projects that COVID-19 assistance/ relief.

Mini grants must fit within one of the three funding Areas:

  • Covid related expense relief; A portion of this funding will be used to assist businesses, organizations and individuals with eligible expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Produce Safety; This grant can help defray the costs of implementing on-farm food safety practices to help growers transition to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and/or meet market demands for on-farm food safety. This can include improvements to irrigation systems that mitigate risk associated with agricultural water use in lieu of current drought conditions.
  • Digital Media; This grant can provide funding for modernization and access to digital media for eligible entities. These are meant to increase/improve market access
Applications will be accepted from August 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM.

Apply HERE


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 are due on 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 has several upcoming opportunities available. 

Upcoming Activities

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.

Funding Opportunities Available to Dairy Farmers and Service Providers
Through Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center

Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) recently announced several funding opportunities available to dairy farmers and service providers. NE-DBIC serves an eleven-state region, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

All opportunities are currently accepting applications/proposals:

On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant

This grant program will provide funds for dairy farmers to access funds that support the purchase of equipment and other related costs that will improve milk storage, handling, and energy efficiencies. The focus of this grant is on the purchase of specialized equipment. Applicants will be able to select from a pre-approved list of eligible equipment which includes milk storage tanks, milk pipeline, glycol chillers, milk loading systems, reclaim systems for water, cooling equipment, plate coolers/heat exchangers, and equipment installation costs.

Grant range: $15,000 – $50,000, with 25% match encouraged; match waivers available – Deadline: October 6, 2022 – Learn more and apply here.

Dairy Farm Production Education Service Provider Contracts

Seeking multiple contractors to develop, organize, and implement educational opportunities for Northeast dairy farmers.  Contractors will develop events, webinars, educational series, and/or conferences to increase farmer-focused production and business viability education.

Multiple contracts will be awarded, each up to $35,000 – Deadline: September 16, 2022 – Learn more and submit proposals here.

Dairy Farm Cohort Technical Assistance Contracts

Seeking multiple contractors across the Northeast region to offer cohort-based technical assistance for dairy farmers in one or more of the areas: increased grazing quality or quantity, home-grown forage enhancement, alternative herd management, innovative staffing and business management, and marketing and education of dairy production practices. Contractors will have the flexibility to work with dairy farmers of any scale, type of dairy animal, certification status, and current condition of the farm. Each farmer will receive a mixture of one-on-one and group business and technical assistance over 18-22 months. Projects through this contract will join eight existing cohort projects across the Northeast from previous rounds of this funding opportunity.

Multiple contracts will be awarded, each up to $150,000 – Deadline: September 16, questions due September 2, 2022 – Learn more and submit proposals here.

Hiring Three Positions

NE-DBIC is currently hiring for three full time, limited service positions that will support our work in providing grants and contracts to dairy farmers, processors, and technical assistance providers located across the 11 states of the northeast. The NE-DBIC is funded by the USDA with nearly $40 million and has awarded more than $7 million since January 2021. Candidates have the ability to work mostly remote but must be within reasonable distance of Montpelier for as needed in-person meetings.  Applications close August 31.

DAIRY FARM INNOVATION GRANT

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Dairy Farm Innovation Grant program. This program will provide grants for dairy farmers to access resources and technical assistance to support the implementation of community- and climate-forward production strategies. Projects funded through this grant program should take a whole farm system approach and increase collaboration with other farms or dairy sector stakeholders.

This grant will fund a wide range of projects across farm production and business operation models. Projects may address improvements in topics such as, but are in no way limited to: switching breeds, creating new models for collaborative/cooperative milk production, increased young farmer engagement, alternative business ownership/management models, development of green technologies, farm-scale appropriate technology improvements, or creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Grants are available to applicants in all Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Grants will range from $15,000 to $75,000 with a 25% (cash or in-kind) match commitment required.

**Applications for this program will open in October 2022**

DAIRY PROCESSOR INNOVATION GRANT

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the Dairy Processor Innovation Grant program, which will provide grants for dairy processors to better position their businesses long-term. Key dairy consumers are shifting their purchasing choices to those that support small businesses, rural communities, and have direct, positive impacts to the climate. Leading reasons consumers are switching brands include a desire to support local businesses and companies that share their values as well as a perception that products are better quality, natural/organic, and more environmentally sustainable. Projects funded through this program will support long term business investments that increase dairy processor business consumer appeal and marketability of value-added dairy products.

This grant will fund a wide range of projects. Projects may address improvements in topics such as: sourcing, product development, transportation/distribution, marketing/supply chain, operations, employee welfare, consumer experience, utilization of materials or systems that reduce carbon footprint and, and beyond.

Grants are available to applicants in all Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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 round will include a two-step application process. Following the review of pre-applications, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

**Applications for this program is expected to open in Fall 2022**