USDA Pumps Stimulus Dollars Into Local Agriculture Market Program
The USDA will pump millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act into the Local Agriculture Market Program, aka LAMP.
The funding is meant to expand and strengthen opportunities to sell to institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and settings operated by local, tribal and state governments, USDA announced March 1.
“This year, we are excited to further develop market opportunities for producers by focusing on farm to institution,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “Expanded access to and local food purchasing within institutional markets could be a major boon for small- and mid-sized producers located throughout the country.”
LAMP will receive a total of $130 million in supplemental American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funding to boost markets for local and regional food producers, according to a news release. The supplemental ARP funding is divided into $65 million for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 each.
With the supplemental $65 million added to its $32 million in Farm Bill money, LAMP in 2022 will receive a total of $97 million in competitive grant funding. Of that total, LAMP’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) will receive $57 million, while Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) will receive $40 million.
How to Line Up for Funding
FMLFPP is implemented through two funding opportunities: the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). FMPP supports direct to consumer markets like farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture, or CSAs, and the LFPP supports indirect to consumer markets like food hubs and value-added product incubators, according to a news release. Both programs require a 25% cash or in-kind match of the Federal portion of the grant.
RFSP supports public-private partnerships that build and strengthen the viability and resilience of local or regional food economies, according to a news release. Projects focus on increasing 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. This program requires 25% cash match of the Federal portion of the grant. AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and/or underserved communities. For grants intending to serve these entities, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.
AMS offers RFA webinars for new applicants to help walk them through the RFA while also providing helpful hints on what has made past recipients successful, according to a news release. For registration information visit the AMS Grant Webinars website. Additionally, Frequently Asked Questions are posted on the AMS Grants website, and grants management specialists are standing by to answer any incoming questions and emails during regular business hours.
Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by Monday, May 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more information about grant eligibility and previously funded projects, visit the below webpages or use the contact information.