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Small Business Grants in Early Education

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					     Federal Grants for Producers

                Elizabeth Higgins
Center for Rural Development, LA Tech University
         PO Box 3188 Ruston, LA 71272
      (318) 257-2919 ehiggins@latech.edu




       Center for Rural Development
      Federal Grants for Producers

         Presentation Overview

• Should You Write a Grant?
• Federal Grantwriting Basics
• Sources of Data and Ideas for Your
  Project
• Specific Grant Program Information



        Center for Rural Development
     3 Federal Grants You Can Use
  Specifically to Improve YOUR Business

•Value Added Producer Grant Program
•SARE Producer Grants
•Small Business Innovation Research
Grants (SBIR)




        Center for Rural Development
     4 Useful Collaborative Grants
•The National Sheep Industry Improvement
Center (NSIIC) Competitive Grants
•Federal State Marketing Improvement
Program (FSMIP)
•SARE On-Farm Research Grants
•SARE/SRDC Sustainable Community
Innovation Grants

        Center for Rural Development
Should You Write a Grant?




   Center for Rural Development
 Reasons NOT to Write a Grant
• Grants take time to write, and are a
  gamble.
• Grant funding is not provided quickly.
• Grants (if you get them) require a
  commitment of time and resources that
  may be better spent elsewhere.



        Center for Rural Development
    Reasons to Write a Grant
• Grant funding can allow you to test an idea
  with less financial risk.
• Grant funding can strengthen your project
  by adding resources and collaborators.
• The information that you collect to write
  the grant may be useful to you regardless
  of whether or not you get funded.


        Center for Rural Development
The best grants fund projects that
you would do, even without grant
            funding.




      Center for Rural Development
Federal Grantwriting Basics




   Center for Rural Development
            The DUNS Number
Any business applying for federal grant funds must
have a DUNS number. This is a nine-digit
identification number, which uniquely identifies
business entities.

To obtain a DUNS number call (866) 705-5711
between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm (your local
time).

          Center for Rural Development
           The DUNS Number
You will need to know:
• The business’s legal name, and any other name
by which your business is known or recognized
• The business’s physical address, mailing
address, and phone number
• Contact name and title
• Number of employees


         Center for Rural Development
  Sources of Information about
    Federal Grant Programs

• Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
  http://www.cfda.gov

• Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov




        Center for Rural Development
  Sources of Information about
    Federal Grant Programs
• Office of Management and Budget – Grant
  Forms and Information
  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants
• Federal Register
  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
• USDA’s website http://www.usda.gov



        Center for Rural Development
Useful Websites for Gathering
       Data and Ideas




    Center for Rural Development
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
http://www.nass.usda.gov/

Agricultural Resource Marketing Center (AgMRC)
http://www.agmrc.org

ATTRA: Applied Technology to Rural Areas
http://www.attra.org

USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and
Education Program (SARE) http://www.sare.org

          Center for Rural Development
Food Entrepreneur Resources for Small Food
Processors and Potential Entrepreneurs
http://foodsafety.psu.edu/processor/resources.htm

FoodMAP (Food Marketing and Processing)
http://www.foodmap.unl.edu/index.asp

US Census Bureau http://www.census.gov

USDA Economic Research Service
http://www.ers.usda.gov

         Center for Rural Development
Specific Grant Program Information




      Center for Rural Development
Value-Added Producer Grant
         Program

             Official Website:
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm




         Center for Rural Development
The deadline for applications is
      March 31, 2006!




    Center for Rural Development
Purpose: Grants may be used for planning activities and for
working capital for marketing value-added agricultural
products and for farm-based renewable energy.


Eligible applicants: independent producers, farmer and
rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and
majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.
Eligible uses of funding (Planning Grant): To obtain legal
advice and assistance, To conduct a feasibility analysis, To
develop a business plan, To develop a marketing plan

Eligible uses of funding (Working Capital): To provide funds
to operate ventures and pay the normal expenses of the
venture. (There are limitations on the use of funds).

Ineligible uses of funding: Starting or expanding a farm or
farming operation, normal costs of production, buying
equipment, permanent improvements to a farm or ranch
(buildings, machinery, land)
Funding level: The maximum grant for a Planning Grant is
$100,000. The maximum grant for Working Capital Grant is
$300,000. $1.5 million has been reserved for grants that are
$25,000 or less.

Match Requirement: Yes. Must mach each VAPG dollar with
equal amount. Program allows in-kind match. Requires
match be an eligible purpose under the grant. For example,
you cannot use the cost of machinery as match as you
cannot use VAPG funds to purchase machinery.

Timing of grants: Proposals are usually due sometime in the
spring/early summer. The annual Notice of Solicitation of
Applications (NOSA) for the 2006 funding cycle was
published on December 21, 2005. Applications are being
accepted until March 31, 2006.
Pros: The purpose of the program is to improve your
business, you do not have to share your results. The
program can provide a significant level of funding. The
program can provide salary and working capital.

Cons: more complicated proposal and reporting
requirements, very competitive program as grants are
evaluated at the national level.
        Writing a Winning VAPG!
Start early.

Respond specifically to the criteria that are the
basis for scoring. Maximum score is 100 points.

Use the University of Nebraska Template.

Work with your local SBDC or Extension Office to
get your financial information organized.


        Center for Rural Development
          Most Useful Resource
University of Nebraska Food Science Center’s
VAPG Template
http://fpc.unl.edu/Newsworthy/grant.htm

If you decide to apply, use the templates provided
by the link above. It will make your work much
easier!


       Center for Rural Development
  Examples of Funded Projects
“To develop an alliance between rural farmers and rural
  grocers to increase demand for naturally grown pork
  through marketing of processed meats such as hams,
  bacon and sausage products”

“To conduct a feasibility analysis and develop a business
  plan for producing a variety of NJ value-added dairy
  products benefiting producers in Sussex and Warren
  Counties”

“For working capital to enter new markets for small
  specialty potatoes”
      SARE Producer Grants

              Official Website:
http://www.griffin.uga.edu/sare/producerpage.htm




          Center for Rural Development
Purpose: to conduct research, marketing and demonstration
projects and share the results with other farmers and
ranchers.

Eligible applicants: producers or producer organizations
interested in conducting research or marketing projects
related to sustainable agriculture. Projects must include
project cooperators. They can be other farmers,
researchers, extension agents, governmental or non-
governmental organizations or others who cooperate in
project planning, data collection and outreach of results.
Eligible uses of funding: Costs of sampling and sample
analysis, materials and supplies needed for the project,
outreach expenses such as holding a field day, travel
needed for the project, hired labor for things that you can’t
do yourself, your labor for project activities above and
beyond your normal farming duties, refreshments at field
days.

Ineligible uses of funding: Starting or expanding a farm or
farming operation, buying equipment, permanent
improvements to a farm or ranch, lunches or other full meals
at field days or large gatherings, testing of commercial
products.
Funding level: Projects may be funded up to two years for a
maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000
for a producer organization.

Match Requirement: none

Timing of grants: proposals are generally due in the fall

Pros: Relatively simple application. Grants are evaluated on
a regional, rather than national level.

Cons: Low funding, requires collaboration, requires you to
share and publicize your results.
     The SARE Producer Grant Proposal

1) What is the problem and how does it relate to, or affect,
    the sustainability of agriculture in the South? Be brief,
    one or two paragraphs.

2)   What is your answer to the problem? Be brief, one or
     two paragraphs.

3)   How will you show or demonstrate that your answer or
     solution works? What will you measure?
     The SARE Producer Grant Proposal

4) When will you do the parts of your project? Give us a
    timetable and the steps you will take to complete your
    project.

5)   Where and how will you tell others (producers,
     extension, researchers) about your results? What is
     your outreach plan? Outreach plans may include
     workshops, field days, fact sheets, articles,
     presentations at agriculture meetings and more.

6) Who are you and your cooperators? Tell us about your
    farm/ranch operation or producer organization. Tell us
    which cooperator is responsible for the various parts of
    the project.
  Examples of Funded Projects
• A pecan grower in Texas used a SARE
  Producer Grant to reduce pesticide spraying for
  stinkbugs by testing black-eyed peas as a trap
  crop. For every dollar spent on peas, nine
  dollars of damage was prevented.

• An Oklahoma cut flower grower used a SARE
  Producer Grant to extend the growing season by
  conducting trials of different flower species and
  greenhouse temperatures. This saved fuel and
  allowed the sale of cut flowers earlier in the
  spring and later into the fall.
USDA Small Business Innovation
   Research Grants (SBIR)

               Official Website:
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/sbir/sbir.html




          Center for Rural Development
Purpose: The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
makes competitively awarded grants that are to qualified
small businesses to support high quality, advanced concepts
research related to important scientific problems and
opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant
public benefit if successful.

Eligible applicants: Applicant must qualify as a small
business concern. To be eligible for Phase II, applicants
must be Phase I winners. University involvement in SBIR
projects is strongly encouraged. University faculty can serve
as consultants or can receive a subcontract (in both cases
limited to no more than 1/3 of the Phase I award or 1/2 of the
Phase II award) and continue to work full time at a university.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
                  Topics

        8.1 Forests and Related Resources
        8.2 Plant Production and Protection
       8.3 Animal Production and Protection
               8.4 Air, Water and Soils
           8.5 Food Science and Nutrition
      8.6 Rural and Community Development
                   8.7 Aquaculture
              8.8 Industrial Applications
              8.9 Marketing and Trade
                     8.10 Wildlife
          8.11 Animal Waste Management
     8.12 Small Mid Size Farms (New in 2006)
Funding level: SBIR Phase I grants are limited to $80,000
and a duration of 8 months. SBIR Phase II grants are limited
to $300,000 and a duration of 24 months .

Match Requirement: none

Timing of grants: Proposals for Phase 1 are generally due in
the fall, and Phase 2 in the late winter.
Pros: SBIR grants can provide significant federal funding to
test out a new idea. The program actually allows a the
business to keep a portion of the funds not spent as profit. If
you are awarded an SBIR grant, your idea is very
marketable.

Cons: Very competitive program. Success rates for
applicants have been 17% and 57% for Phase I and II
respectively. Requires a very sophisticated proposal.
  Examples of Funded Projects
Chesapeake Fields Farmers, LLC MARKETING
  ASSESSMENT OF IDENTITY-PRESERVED AND
  VALUE- ADDED SOY-BASED ETHNIC FOODS AND
  HEALTH BARS PRODUCED BY CHESAPEAKE
  FIELDS FARMERS (Phase I): 1. Assess and evaluate
  the type, size and location of market opportunities for
  value-added products produced from CFF commodities
  and developed commercially as soy-based ethnic foods
  and health bars; 2. Quantify market characteristics
  determining product demand, consumption patterns,
  shifts in retail and wholesale marketing, and shifts in
  food manufacturing; and 3. Develop specific strategies
  for rural farmers to gain entry into these niche markets
  with identity-preserved, value-added crops.
  Examples of Funded Projects
AGREN, INC.GOAT BROWSING TO ENHANCE
  ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN THE LOESS HILLS
The invasion of woody vegetation into native plant
  communities is a growing problem on many of the
  Nation's rangelands, resulting in the loss of
  pastureland and the need to make alterations in
  livestock management. The opportunity to employ
  goat browsing as a means of rehabilitating pastures,
  diversifying income potential for local farmers, and
  providing a source of chevon to surrounding ethnic
  communities will be studied.
The National Sheep Industry
Improvement Center (NSIIC)
    Competitive Grants

Official Website: http://www.nsiic.org




     Center for Rural Development
Purpose: For product or business development, producer
information or education, marketing and promotion for sheep
or goats or their products, genetic retention, and animal
health. The intent is to fund a variety of proposals that will
benefit the U.S. sheep and goat industries.

Eligible applicants: An eligible entity is one that promotes the
betterment of the United States sheep or goat industries and
includes: (1) A public, private, or cooperative organization;
(2) an association, including a corporation not operated for
profit; (3) a federally recognized Indian Tribe; or (4) a public
or quasi-public agency.
Eligible uses of funding: Costs related to product or business
development, producer information or education, marketing
and promotion for sheep or goats or their products, genetic
retention or animal health at the regional, national or
international level

Ineligible uses of funding: 1. Duplicate current services or
replace or substitute support previously provided. If the
current service is inadequate, however, grant funds may be
used to expand the level of effort or services beyond that
which is currently being provided; 2. Pay costs of preparing
the application package for funding under this program; 3.
Pay costs of the project incurred prior to the date of grant
approval; 4. Fund political activities;
Funding level: they allow up to $50,000 in federal funds per
proposal. Projects can be up to 20 months long.

Match Requirement: none

Timing of grants: proposals are generally due in the fall

Pros: Targeted to the sheep and goat sectors. Although the
funds cannot go to benefit an individual business, they can
be used to assist a group of producers.

Cons: They only fund 6-10 grants per year. Most grants go
to National/State Associations and to Universities.
  Examples of Funded Projects
Mountain States Lamb Cooperative
Title: Investigation and Development of Convenience Food
   Products Made From Lamb

Objective: The goal of this grant is to fund the research
  and development of convenience food products made
  with lamb. The objective of the project is to investigate
  product manufacturing capabilities and formulations,
  develop and test prototype products and determine
  preliminary sales potential.
    Federal-State Marketing
     Improvement Program

            Official Website:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/tmd/fsmip.htm




       Center for Rural Development
Purpose: FSMIP funds can be requested for a wide range of
marketing research and marketing service activities

Eligible applicants: State departments of agriculture, State
bureaus and departments of markets, State agricultural
experiment stations, and other appropriate State
agencies. State agencies should assume the lead role in
FSMIP projects, and use cooperative or contractual linkages
with other agencies, universities, institutions, and producer,
industry or community-based organizations, as appropriate.
Eligible uses of funding: Salaries, travel, rents, supplies
related to the project.

Ineligible uses of funding: Will not pay for infrastructure
(buildings), and advertising and promotion.
Funding level: The average grant is $50,000. Projects are
generally for one year, but can be for up to two years

Match Requirement: FSMIP funds must be matched, at
minimum, on a one-to-one basis, from non-Federal
sources. The match may consist of cash and/or properly
valued, in-kind resources. State appropriations, as well as
funds or other resources contributed by farm organizations,
trade associations, or other project participants, can be used
to satisfy the matching fund requirement.

Timing of grants: The deadline for submitting FY 2006
applications is February 10, 2006. Hard copy applications
will meet the deadline if postmarked on or before February
10, 2006.
Pros: Funds marketing studies that can be of use to farmers
interested in niche markets and new products.

Cons: Must have state agency support for the project.
However, the state agency does not have to be the
Department of Agriculture.
                  Selection Criteria

•The relative need for the proposed activity or the relative
importance of the problem to be addressed.

•The benefits likely to be derived from the project in relation to
the amount of FSMIP funds requested.

•The level and nature of State and other non-Federal support
(including, but not limited to, the required matching funds or
in-kind resources) pledged to the project or activity.

•The potential impact of an individual project on other States
or on issues of national importance.
                 Selection Criteria

•Unique and innovative features of the project, particularly if
the project is similar to others funded in the past or if the
project scope is below the State level.

•Evidence provided in a clearly written narrative that the
proposal brings together the appropriate resources in terms
of people, budget, time, and other resources to meet the
project objectives.

•The adequacy and appropriateness of measures to be used
to evaluate the project outcome.
  Examples of Funded Projects
• Arkansas - $60,000 to the Arkansas State Plant
  Board, in cooperation with Winrock International, to
  conduct consumer research that will assist newly-
  formed vegetable cooperatives in southeast
  Arkansas identify and pursue opportunities to sell
  produce in commercial and local markets.

• Georgia - $63,800 to the University of Georgia, on
  behalf of the Georgia Agricultural Experiment
  Station, and in cooperation with Colorado State
  University, to conduct consumer research to assess
  new market opportunities for producers of grass-
  finished beef.
  Examples of Funded Projects
• Kansas - $28,800 to the Kansas Department of
  Commerce to analyze market and agritourism
  opportunities for Kansas wine, and develop a
  strategic marketing plan for the emerging Kansas
  wine sector.

• Kentucky - $21,000 to the Kentucky Department of
  Agriculture, in cooperation with industry partners
  and the Extension Services of Kentucky State
  University and the University of Kentucky, to assess
  the impact of selected goat production methods on
  marketability and profitability.
              SARE
  On-Farm Research Grant and
Sustainable Community Innovation
              Grant

         Official Website:
 http://www.griffin.uga.edu/sare/




     Center for Rural Development
Purpose (on-farm research grants): On-farm research and
marketing projects that promote sustainable agriculture.
Projects should be innovative, generate results that are
useful beyond one year, and produce information that many
farmers can use.

Eligible applicants (on farm research grants): Extension,
NRCS, and/or NGO personnel who currently work with
farmers and ranchers. A farmer must be included in the
project.
Purpose (Community Innovation Grants): Any activities that
will increase knowledge, build capacity and make
connections between farms and rural communities to the
benefit of people who live in those communities. This could
include, but is not limited to, developing farmers markets,
establishing nutrition classes about the benefits of local
foods and facilitating local processing of pastured livestock.

Eligible applicants (Community Innovation Grants): Any
person or organization with an idea that will link sustainable
agriculture activities to healthy rural community
development. .
Eligible uses of funding: Costs of sampling and sample
analysis, materials and supplies needed for the project,
outreach expenses such as holding a field day, travel
needed for the project, hired labor for things that you can’t
do yourself, your labor for project activities above and
beyond your normal farming duties, refreshments at field
days, working lunches (Community Innovation Grant).

Ineligible uses of funding: Starting or expanding a farm or
farming operation, buying equipment, permanent
improvements to a farm or ranch, lunches or other full meals
at field days or large gatherings, testing of commercial
products.
Funding level: $15,000 max for On-Farm Research Grants
for up to two years, and $10,000 for Community Innovation
Grants for up to two years.

Match Requirement: None

Timing of grants: Proposals are generally due in the fall

Pros: Targeted to sustainable agriculture, relatively simple
application process. Projects should include farmers.

Cons: Low funding. Cannot be to benefit a single business
entity. Results must be shared.

				
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