The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $92.2 million in competitive grant funding under the 2018 Farm Bill’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP). These grants support the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises, and value-added agricultural products.
The LAMP grants are funded through the Farmers Market program as part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative. USDA launched this initiative in March to address shortfalls and disparities in how assistance was distributed in previous COVID-19 assistance packages, with a specific focus on strengthening outreach to underserved producers and communities and small and medium agricultural operations.
“We have an opportunity to transform our nation’s food system with a greater focus on resilient, local and regional food systems,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These grants will help maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in local and regional food systems to kickstart this transformation. LAMP grants have a history of generating new income sources for small, beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and creating new market opportunities for value-added and niche products.”
USDA encourages projects that assist underserved local and regional agricultural businesses, producer networks and associations, and local and tribal government in responding to COVID-19 disruptions and impacts. Funding is not contingent upon applicants directly addressing these issues.
Increasing Local Food Access Through Direct and Intermediary Producer-to-Consumer Markets
USDA will award $76.9 million ($22.5 million in the 2018 Farm Bill, $47 million provided as emergency funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and $7.4 in annual appropriations) to FMLFPP. Projects under the Farmers Market Promotion Program support direct-to-consumer markets like farmers markets and CSAs. Projects under the Local Food Promotion Program supports indirect-to-consumer markets like food hubs and value-added product incubators.
Buildng Robust and Resilient Local and Regional Food Economies
USDA will award $15.3 million ($5 million in the 2018 Farm Bill and $10.3 provided as emergency funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) to RFSP to fund public-private partnerships that build and strengthen viability and resilience of local or regional food economies. Projects focus on increase the availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products and alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers. Projects can cover the planning and design of a local and regional food economy as well as implementing or expanding an existing one.
The deadline to submit an application for the Local Agriculture Market Program is June 21, 2021. The deadline for the Regional Food System Partnership Program is July 6, 2021.
Application and Grant Eligibility
Applications undergo external expert peer review and the process is highly competitive. All grants require matching funds from community partners or stakeholders. The amounts and match amounts vary by program and are specified in the RFAs.
Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due dates established in the respective Request for Applications (RFA’s). Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy (PDF, 431 KB).
For more information about grant eligibility and previously funded projects, visit the FMPP webpage, LFPP webpage or RFSP webpage or contact the USDA at USDAFMPPQuestions@usda.gov, USDALFPPQuestions@usda.gov,or IPPGrants@usda.gov.