U.S. Department of Agriculture: Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to funding projects that support a diverse set of farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and operators (producers) on the edge of viability, moving them from surviving to thriving as they address core barriers to attain land, capital, and market access.
USDA will achieve this goal by funding cooperative agreements or grants to organizations that will develop and run programs that are designed to align with and respond to land, capital, and market access needs of the target audience while concurrently providing wraparound technical assistance to ensure that program participants have the information, training, and customized support they require.
USDA is seeking proposals to fund projects across four tiers of effort:
i. Large, national land access projects
ii. Mid-sized, national projects to test innovations in design
iii. Regional projects to test innovations in design
iv. Local, state, territory, county, and community projects to test innovations in design
The primary focus of this funding opportunity is to strengthen land access with additional opportunities to focus on capital access and market access for use in agriculture. The ability to access capital and markets allows landowners and operators to retain access to their lands or seek new lands/expansion of existing operations. These issues are inextricably intertwined. Projects must focus on strengthening land access with at least one of the following related areas of concern:
i. Capital access concerns that affect the ability to access land;
ii. Market access concerns that affect the ability to access land; or
iii. A combination of one or more of land, capital, and market access concerns.
Individuals that are the ultimate beneficiaries of the program investments and accompanying technical assistance must be underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, including veterans, limited resources producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and/or farmers, ranchers and forest landowners living in high poverty areas.
Amount: $300,000,000 is available in the following tiers:
- Large, national land access tier: Proposals from $20,000,000 to $40,000,000 to include large-scale national projects/models that are designed to increase land access for targeted producers across a national landscape. These projects must be for a five-year funding period. Two awards are anticipated at this tier.
- Mid-sized national land access tier: Proposals from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 to include large-scale national projects/models that are designed to increase land access for targeted producers across a national landscape. These projects must be for a five-year funding period.
- Regional land access tier: Proposals from $5,000,000 to $8,500,000 to include regional-scaled projects/models designed to increase land access for targeted producers across a regional landscape. These projects may be for up to a five-year funding period.
- Local/State/Territorial land access tier: Proposals from $250,000 to $2,500,000 to include local/state targeted producers focused on increasing land access within one local area (sub-state/territory), one state, one territory, or one Tribal landscape. These projects may be for up to a five-year funding period.
Eligibility: State, County, City, Local, Territorial, and Township governments; public and State-controlled institutions of higher education; not for profit institutions of higher education; nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, including foundations and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs); Native American Tribal governments (Federally or State recognized); Native American Tribal government instrumentalities; Native American Tribal organizations; and Native American Tribal financial institutions. Note: Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, will not be eligible to apply to this program directly but must be the ultimate beneficiaries of the awarded projects and may be represented via partnership groups.
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