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USDA Offers $3.5 Million in Technical Assistance Grants to Establish & Operate Agriculture Innovation Centers

Kelly Clark
Carson City
Release Date

Program Aims to Provide Technical, Business Development, and Marketing Assistance to Value Added Producers

CARSON CITY, NEV., Oct. 24, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy has announced that USDA’s Business and Cooperatives Service is providing $3.5 million in technical assistance grants for nonprofits, for-profit corporations, public bodies and institutions of higher education to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers.

The grants must be used to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers. The funds may be used to provide legal, accounting and other consulting services; hire employees to establish and operate the Centers; or make individual grants to agricultural producers.  The goal is to establish an AG Innovation Center with its own board of directors and provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers on ways to add value and market their agricultural products.

The minimum grant award is $500,000 and the maximum grant award is $1 million, with a two-year project period.  Matching funds are required for at least one-third of the total project budget. Matching funds may be provided in cash by the applicant or by a third party or in-kind by a third party.

Applications for the “Agriculture Innovation Demonstration Center grant” must be received at http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern Time on March 20, 2020 to be considered. For more information contact Gail Thuner at (202) 690-1374 or gail.thuner@usda.gov

USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation.

Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technical Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life. For additional information, see page 55274 of the Oct. 16, 2019, Federal Register.