The LASA Grants Program is co-managed by the Department of Environmental Management and the RI Food Policy Council, and is made possible by $100,000 in state funding that Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the General Assembly included in the DEM budget, and an additional $130,000 in matching funds from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and the Rhode Island Foundation, granted to the RI Food Policy Council. This unique and unprecedented public-private partnership will provide grants intended to directly benefit and strengthen the local food system in RI.
Priorities for the 2015 LASA Grants Program are:
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The RIDEM/Division of Agriculture is pleased to announce the availability of Farm Viability grant funds for the purpose of enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops grown in Rhode Island.
Specialty crops are defined by this federally supported program as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops including floriculture such as Christmas Trees, cut flowers, honey, hops, and turf grass production. Examples of enhancing the market competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to: Research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, and developing cooperatives.
Grant applications and projects must further the competitiveness of specialty crops only as broadly as possible in Rhode Island, and not just serve to enhance individual farm viability pursuant to USDA program guidelines. Grant funds will not be awarded for Projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. Please click here for an overview of the program and some examples of grant requests.
The DEM Agricultural Advisory Committee who will make recommendations to DEM will review applications. Applications, accompanied by a W9 form, must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2015 and sent to DEM's Division of Agriculture, 235 Promenade Street, Room 370, Providence, RI 02908 to be considered. Grant-related questions should be directed to Peter Susi, Deputy Chief DEM/Division of Agriculture (or by telephone at 401.222-2781, ext. 4517).