Funding Support for On-Farm Energy

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The REAP program offers grants and loan guarantees for farmers and rural small businesses to implement renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. REAP has several components, with the following deadlines:

  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until March 30, 2012;
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications
  • on a continuous basis up to June 29, 2012;
  • Renewable energy system feasibility study applications through March 30, 2012; and Energy audits and renewable energy development assistance applications through February 21, 2012.

In addition, applicants who applied for REAP funding in FY2011 and were determined to be eligible, but
were not funded, may submit a written request to USDA to consider the application for FY2012 funds.

Click here for more information.

New National Funding for Farm to School

Deadlines for the USDA Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) Farm to School Grant Program are quickly approaching! In this first funding cycle, FNS anticipates awarding up to $3.5 million to support Farm to School planning and implementation efforts in eligible schools. Be sure to mark your calendars: all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by May 18, 2012, and final Farm to School grant proposals are due by June 15, 2012.

National Farm to School Director Deborah Kane and Grants Management Specialist Greg Walton will present two upcoming webinars to provide more information about the Farm to School Grant Program:

  • Tuesday, May 15, 3:00 pm EST – Implementation Grants webinar
  • Thursday, May 17, 1:00 pm EST – Planning Grants webinar

All webinar participants must register in advance.

For more information about the program, check out the new FAQ guide and sample planning and implementation grant proposals, now available on the Farm to School Grant Program website.

Learn the Basics of Sustainable Farming and Holistic Management

The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (ATTRA), managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), offers two publications for farmers interested in integrating environmental, economic and social sustainability on their farms.

Applying the Principles of Sustainable Farming provides practical examples of how to apply new sustainability principles on the farm. Holistic Management: A Whole-Farm Decision Making Framework helps farmers establish long-term goals, detailed financial and biological plans, and monitoring programs for their farms by incorporating Holistic Management principles.

For more resources on sustainable farm management options, visit ATTRA’s website and the Sustainable Options Resource Guide from Farm Aid.