Drought Relief Funding for CA Underserved & Small Producers
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is receiving applications for the 2023 California Underserved and Small Producers Program (CUSP) – Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grants. Proposals are due March 16, 2023.
What is the California Underserved and Small Producer Grant Program? CUSP is designed to facilitate support for small and medium scale California agricultural producers, or small and medium scale Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers through technical assistance with business planning and marketing strategies. The program also includes direct producer drought relief grants for those same priority groups.
This program has two components for which applicants can apply for one or both:
- Part 1: Drought Relief Technical Assistance- Funding for eligible technical assistance providers to support California agricultural producers in applying for Federal and State drought relief grant programs including the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program, and assistance with business planning, financial and marketing strategies needed to be resilient and stay in business during the ongoing drought in California.
- Part 2: Drought Relief Direct Producer Block Grant Program- Eligible entities can apply to administer direct grants for small and medium scale producers or small and medium scale Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFRs). The block grant recipient will act as a regional administrator of the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program and will distribute drought relief grants to aid in addressing specific financial needs due to the ongoing drought in California.
Who may apply for funding under this program? The following entities are eligible to apply: Nonprofit organizations, Tribal Governments, County Departments of Agriculture, and Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs).
Entities applying for Part 1: Drought Relief Technical Assistance, must have demonstrated expertise in assisting small and medium scale producers, or small and medium scale SDFRs in applying to economic or drought relief fund programs, marketing or business planning technical assistance expertise, and administering grant programs. Priority will also be given to organizations with bilingual capabilities and offering technical assistance in languages other than English.
Entities applying for Part 2: Drought Relief Direct Producer Block Grant Program must have demonstrated expertise in managing direct producer grants or previous rounds of CUSP Economic or Drought Relief Direct Farmer Grants.
What are the program requirements?
Part 1: Drought Relief Technical Assistance applicant organizations must have technical assistance capacity to serve the needs of small and medium scale agricultural producers through the CUSP Program. This can be demonstrated through existing programs and resources related to business and financial planning, marketing tools, and other types of support.
Part 2: Drought Relief Direct Producer Block Grant Program applicants must outline two components in their proposals:
- Communication & Outreach: A clear plan for outreach and dissemination efforts, identifying any local or regional partnering organizations that will support this effort.
- Direct Drought Relief Fund Distribution: Develop an implementation plan for the distribution of relief funds, which should include tentative application period cycles (recurring vs. quarterly rounds), projected timeline for the distribution of funds for the duration of the grant term, any additional eligibility guidelines, languages supported through program outreach, application and/or staff support, and application availability for producers statewide. Additional administrative requirements are detailed in the program’s Request for Applications.
What are the funding amounts available?
Part 1: Drought Relief Technical Assistance Grant Program will have a total $2 million funding available. Applicants may apply for grants between $50,000-$100,000.
Part 2: Drought Relief Direct Producer Block Grant Program applicants can apply to administer between $500,000 and $1,500,000 annually in producer grants. Organizations applying only for Part 2 can receive 10 percent of the total direct producer funds awarded as allocation to cover administrative costs associated with administering and distributing the funds directly to producers.
Organizations applying to Part 1 only, or Part 1 and Part 2 (one application) will develop their own budget and can include up to 30 percent of Salaries and Fringe Benefits as indirect costs.
Matching funds are not required for this program.
What is the award timeline and project duration? Grant applications are due on March 16, 2023 by 5pm PST and must be submitted through the Amplifund electronic system.
Anticipated awards will be announced on April 17, 2023.
The project duration will be two (2) years, beginning May 1, 2023-April 30, 2025. Funds may not be expended prior to establishing an executed agreement.
The full Request for Applications can be found here.
The CUSP application can be found here.
For more information on this program or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at email@example.com or call us at 530-893-4764