COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR FARMERS AND CONSUMERS

Current Funding Opportunities

OCTOBER

Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program (FSIG) | Deadline: October 31st

Goals: Connect farmers and food producers with a resilient local food system, minimize future disruptions in food production & distribution, and increase equitable access to locally-produced food.

Eligibility Factors: Food producers licensed in Massachusetts and serving local populations, especially those who are low-income or underserved.

Funding Limitations: Up to $500,000 per award. One application per business. Funding is a reimbursement for new infrastructure & capital projects. No match is required but for requests over $100,000, some match is recommended. Access to bridge funding will need to be demonstrated.

Expected Timeline: Apply via online form by 11:59pm on October 31st. Anticipated contract start date is November 30th. Contract end date is June 30th, 2022.

Additional Resources: SEMAP hosted a workshop on this grant program. View the recording and notes, and reach out to info@semaponline.org with any questions.

NOVEMBER

Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) | Deadline: November 1st at 4pm

Goals: Compensate growers who are obtaining or renewing (or recently obtained or renewed) their USDA Organic Certification.

Eligibility Factors: Growers who paid certification expenses between October 1st 2020 and September 30th 2021. This program is slated to be funded in 2022, so if you receive certification after September 30th 2021, keep records of your expenses.

Funding Limitations: Reimbursement of 50% of certification costs, up to $500. Reimbursement covers application fees, inspection costs, and more.

Expected Timeline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and funding is limited so apply as soon as possible. Apply through MDAR via mail, or at your local FSA office.

Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) | Deadline: November 5th at 4pm

Goals: To prevent or reduce on-farm food safety risks, transition businesses to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and meet market demands for on-farm food safety.

Eligibility Factors: Commercial produce growers and aquaculturists are eligible. Those operating on leased or APR land should confirm their eligibility here. Growers who participate in the Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), are covered under FSMA, and/or have completed trainings through Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) will be given special consideration.

Funding Limitations: Reimbursement of 80% of project costs, up to $50,000. A 20% cash match is required and access to bridge funding must be demonstrated. Quotes are not required but highly recommended.

Expected Timeline: Estimated contract start time is December 2021. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.

Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Program | Deadline: November 16th at 5pm

Goals: To fund the construction and trials of innovative on-farm technology, and engage in conversation with the agricultural community about the results, lessons learned, and potential uses of these innovations. To increase profits, better steward the land & waterways, and strengthen rural communities.

Eligibility Factors: Farmers in the Northeast United States, including aquaculturists. Must have a technical advisor; SEMAP may be able to fill this role, pending a proposal review.

Funding Limitations: Up to $30,000 per award. May be used for labor costs, material costs, and/or marketing costs. May not be used for durable equipment or infrastructure like tractors or barns. May not be used to start a farm.

Expected Timeline: Anticipated start time is in the spring. Most projects are expected to last one or two years, but proposals for 3-year projects will also be considered. Grantees must keep data throughout the duration of their project and report on it at the conclusion. View an informational webinar on this grant to learn more about eligibility, project goals, and timeline.

Pandemic Response & Safety Grant Program (PRS) | Deadline: November 22nd at 11:59pm

Goals: To reimburse costs specialty crop farmers have incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those associated with enhancing workplace and worker safety.

Eligibility Factors: Farmers of specialty crops who incurred costs related to providing PPE for staff, retrofitting buildings to be more COVID-safe, shifting to online sales platforms, building curbside pick-up or delivery models, improving worker housing, and more. These costs should have been incurred between 1/27/2020 and 12/31/2021. Confirm your eligibility here.

Funding Limitations: Funding between $1,500 and $20,000 is available. Staff time associated with COVID response may be eligible for funding.

Expected Timeline: Funds will be awarded after the review period, after the application deadline of November 22nd. We expect this will be in late December.

OCTOBER

Seafood Marketing Grant Program | Deadline: October 15th

Goals: To support marketing and education efforts of stakeholders in the Massachusetts seafood industry, especially those that address the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Eligibility Factors: Seafood businesses (including farmers, fishers, wholesalers, and processors), as well as communities & individuals in the seafood industry, especially those negatively impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.

Funding Limitations: Most awards are expected to be $10,000-25,000, but proposals between $5,000 and $50,000 will also be considered. Funding is very limited for this program, and fewer than 10 projects are likely to be awarded. SEMAP is happy to review proposals before submission and submit letters of support depending on the project. Email shickey@semaponline.org as soon as possible to take advantage of this.

Expected Timeline: Written applications are due via email October 15th. Several applicants will be asked to complete a 5-minute virtual verbal pitch in December 2021. Notification of awards will be made in early 2022 and projects should be completed by June 30, 2023.

Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program (FSIG) | Deadline: October 31st

Goals: Connect farmers, fishers, and food producers with a resilient local food system, minimize future disruptions in food production & distribution, and increase equitable access to locally-produced food.

Eligibility Factors: Food producers licensed in Massachusetts and serving local populations, especially those who are low-income or underserved.

Funding Limitations: Up to $500,000 per award. One application per business. Funding is a reimbursement for new infrastructure, vehicles, & capital projects. No match is required but for requests over $100,000, some match is recommended. Access to bridge funding will need to be demonstrated.

Expected Timeline: Apply via online form by 11:59pm on October 31st. Anticipated contract start date is November 30th. Contract end date is June 30th, 2022.

Additional Resources: SEMAP hosted a workshop on this grant program. View the recording and notes, and reach out to info@semaponline.org with any questions.

NOVEMBER

Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP) | Deadline: November 5th at 4pm

Goals: To prevent or reduce on-farm food safety risks, transition businesses to compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and meet market demands for on-farm food safety.

Eligibility Factors: Commercial produce growers and aquaculturists are eligible. Growers who participate in the Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), are covered under FSMA, and/or have been certified in Seafood Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point (HACCP) will be given special consideration.

Funding Limitations: Reimbursement of 80% of project costs, up to $50,000. A 20% cash match is required and access to bridge funding must be demonstrated. Quotes are not required but highly recommended.

Expected Timeline: Estimated contract start time is December 2021. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.

Pandemic Response & Safety Grant Program (PRS) | Deadline: November 22nd at 11:59pm

Goals: To reimburse costs shellfishers, finfishers, and aquaculturists have incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those associated with enhancing workplace and worker safety.

Eligibility Factors: Aquaculturists who incurred costs related to providing PPE for staff, retrofitting infrastructure to be more COVID-safe, shifting to online sales platforms, building curbside pick-up or delivery models, improving worker housing, and more. These costs should have been incurred between 1/27/2020 and 12/31/2021. Confirm your eligibility here.

Funding Limitations: Funding between $1,500 and $20,000 is available. Staff time associated with COVID response may be eligible for funding.

Expected Timeline: Funds will be awarded after the review period, after the application deadline of November 22nd. We expect this will be in late December.

OCTOBER

Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program (FSIG) | Deadline: October 31st

Goals: Connect farmers and food producers with a resilient local food system, minimize future disruptions in food production & distribution, and increase equitable access to locally-produced food.

Eligibility Factors: Food producers and small retailers (including farmers’ markets) based in Massachusetts and serving local populations, especially those who are low-income or underserved.

Funding Limitations: Up to $500,000 per award. One application per business. Funding is a reimbursement for new infrastructure & capital projects. No match is required but for requests over $100,000, some match is recommended. Access to bridge funding will need to be demonstrated. Durable, non-marketing goods are eligible for funding.

Expected Timeline: Apply via online form by 11:59pm on October 31st. Anticipated contract start date is November 30th. Contract end date is June 30th, 2022.

Additional Resources: SEMAP hosted a workshop on this grant program. View the recording and notes, and reach out to info@semaponline.org with any questions.

NOVEMBER

Pandemic Response & Safety Grant Program (PRS) | Deadline: November 22nd at 11:59pm

Goals: To reimburse costs farmers’ markets and distributors have incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those associated with enhancing workplace and worker safety.

Eligibility Factors: Farmers’ markets and distributors who incurred costs related to providing PPE for staff, retrofitting infrastructure to be more COVID-safe, shifting to online sales platforms, building curbside pick-up or delivery models, and more. These costs should have been incurred between 1/27/2020 and 12/31/2021. Confirm your eligibility here.

Funding Limitations: Funding between $1,500 and $20,000 is available. Staff time associated with COVID response may be eligible for funding.

Expected Timeline: Funds will be awarded after the review period, after the application deadline of November 22nd. We expect this will be in late December.

SEMAP can assist you in your grant application process in several ways. We can review your application once you are ready to submit, we can walk you through it from start-to-finish, and/or we can write a letter of support for your project. If you would like in-depth, start-to-finish assistance, please use this form. If you would like a review or letter of support, please email info@semaponline.org. Keep in mind that, as a small organization, SEMAP will require at least 5 business days of notice ahead of any application deadlines.

If you represent a funding organization or have knowledge of funding opportunities for farmers and food producers that are not listed here, please contact shickey@semaponline.org.

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