Building Equity & Access through newly announced USDA grants

Sarah Lyman, Director of Communications

>> The deadline for 2021 USDA LAMP grant applications has passed, but you may find some of these resources useful for future opportunities. >>

The USDA has announced three major grant programs and is also seeking grant reviewers. These are great opportunities for food system stakeholders, with a focus on BIPOC, rural and underserved communities. 

Become a USDA reviewer

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking review panelists for the grant programs described below. They are looking for reviewers who represent the diversity of the applicant pool, and are actively recruiting panelists from BIPOC, rural and other underserved communities. You can make a significant difference in the way federal money is spent by participating. Reviewing federal grants is a time-consuming task, but can be extremely rewarding, and reviewers are also financially compensated. More information on becoming a USDA AMS grant reviewer.

Apply for a grant

USDA AMS is distributing $92.2 million in grants this year - more than in prior years - as part of its Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP). These grants support the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products. They are specifically prioritizing projects that assist underserved local and regional agricultural businesses, producer networks and associations, and local and tribal government in responding to COVID-19 disruptions and impacts. 

FINE Support

USDA AMS has partnered with 11 organizations, including FINE, to provide outreach and technical assistance for these LAMP grants with an emphasis on supporting BIPOC, rural, and other historically underrepresented grant applicants. 

  • Visit this webpage to find regularly updated information about webinars, guides and other useful grants information. 
  • How can we amplify this outreach to your network? Contact us and let’s do this together. We want to work specifically with groups who have strong links to BIPOC, rural and other underserved communities: we can compensate you for these efforts.

Transparency about FINE’s role as Technical Assistant: FINE is being compensated by the USDA for our role in offering technical assistance. Being a TA does not preclude FINE from applying for a LAMP grant. FINE is actively considering applying for a RFSP grant.

What Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) Grants Are Available?

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) funds projects that develop, coordinate and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. This can be done by developing, coordinating, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, online sales or other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities (including direct producer-to-retail, direct producer-to-restaurant and direct producer-to-institutional marketing). 

  • Capacity Building projects: $50k - $500k over 36 months
    Community Development Training and Technical Assistance projects: $100k - $750k over 36 months 
  • Match requirement: 10% or 25%
  • Deadline: Monday, June 21, 2021

Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) funds projects that develop, coordinate and expand local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer to consumer marketing to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Grants can be used for the planning stages of establishing or expanding a local and regional food business enterprise or to improve or expand a food business that supports locally and regionally produced agricultural products and food system infrastructure by performing feasibility studies, market research, training and technical assistance for the business enterprise and/or for producers working with the business enterprise. 

  • Planning projects: $25k - $200k over 24 months
    Implementation projects: $100k - $750k over 36 months
  • Match requirement: 10% or 25%
  • Deadline: Monday, June 21, 2021

Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The program focuses on strengthening the viability and resilience of regional food economies through collaboration and coordination. 

  • Planning & Design: $100k - $250k over 24 months
    Implementation & Expansion: $250k - $1M over 36 months
  • Deadline: Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Which grant should I apply for?

  • Is your project/activity direct-to-consumer marketing? FMPP
  • Is your project/activity an intermediary or non-direct to consumer supply chain activity? LFPP
  • Are you creating new or nurturing existing partnerships? RFSP

USDA decision tree for FMPP and LFPP grants

Still not sure?

  • Contact a USDA grant specialist directly

Scheduled Webinars and Events

Webinars from USDA - See All USDA webinars

  • Training Webinar - View the Recording is the website federal grant-making agencies use to post grant funding opportunities and where the public can find and apply for those opportunities. The presentation will demonstrate how to use the website to apply for AMS grant programs. Topics covered include how to register in Dun & Bradstreet, track a submitted application, search for funding opportunities and apply for those opportunities.
  • Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) Applicant Webinar - View Recording 

  • Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) Applicant Webinar  - View Recording Passcode 5RS^qE07


Webinars from Technical Assistant Partners


  • Hear from successful USDA LAMP grant recipients - View Recording 
    Considering applying for the USDA LAMP (FMLFPP and RFSP) Grants but want to learn more? Come hear from other New England organizations who have successfully applied for and been awarded USDA LAMP grants on June 8th from 2 pm to 3 pm. Presenters include Jennifer Hashley, New Entry Farming (LFPP implementation grant), Sarah Axe, New England Feeding New England (RFSP planning grant), Emily Cayer, Northeast Grains Collaborative (RFSP implementation grant), Cortney Renton, City Seed (LFPP Planning grant), and Meg Hourigan, Hartford Food Systems (FMPP capacity building grant). Presenters will briefly share information about their projects and experiences applying for the USDA application process, followed by a moderated question and answer period.  This session is open to all, and we especially invite participation from BIPOC-led and -serving enterprises and other historically underrepresented grant applicants. Remember - act now as the deadlines are fast approaching (June 21 and July 6).

Farmers Market Coalition

  • FMPP Evaluation Criteria and Scoring Matrix - View Recording & Notes
    In this presentation, experienced FMPP grantee and reviewer Kelly Crane (Executive Director of Oregon Farmers Market Association) provides a step-by-step review of the FMPP evaluation criteria and scoring matrix, generally discussing each section and ending with Q&A.

Wallace Center

  • USDA LAMP Grants Outreach and Info Session - View Recording 
    The 2021 round of funding for local and regional food systems through the LAMP Grants is almost triple what it has been in the past -- $92 million in funding is available! And with reduced match requirements and an emphasis on reaching underserved communities, there’s real potential for a more diverse range of organizations to apply and receive funding. The Wallace Center and partners are developing outreach toolkits to help spread the word and will be providing technical assistance (TA) to support applicants as they navigate the proposal process. Join us the Wallace Center May 13 to hear how you can raise awareness and help craft the TA that will be provided.

  • Making Sense of RFSP Grants - View Recording
    Members of the USDA RFSP grants team, current grantees from Alaska and New Mexico, and a RFSP former grant reviewer discuss this new USDA grant opportunity, its priorities and defining characteristics, and explore what it takes to create collaborative partnerships, impactful projects, and successful proposals.

USDA & Local Catch Network

  • FMLFPP Grants Q&A Session - View Recording 
    Kim Harmon, Grants Management Specialist with the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s Grants Division, joined Local Catch Network for an open conversation and Q&A session to discuss LFPP and FMPP grant programs, eligibility requirements, the application process, and technical assistance offered by the Local Catch Network.  
  • Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Workshop - View Recording
    Knowing how to frame a grant proposal can be challenging. Join Local Catch Network and Debra Tropp for a workshop to discuss priority areas outlined in the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP), how to interpret questions posed in grant RFAs, and how to write not only good, but important proposals that align with grant evaluation criteria. During this workshop, attendees are encouraged to share their FMPP and LFPP project ideas to collectively brainstorm strategies that strengthen grant proposals and, therefore, local and regional food systems through the implementation of innovative projects.

Additional Grant Applicant Resources



Seeds of Success: Successful Grant Recipients of the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) open in new window

Technical Assisance for USDA Grants

FINE is one of 11 partner organizations that the USDA has enlisted to provide outreach and technical assistance for their LAMP grants:

  • CSA Innovation Network
  • Farm to Institution New England
  • Farms to Grow
  • Famers Market Coalition
  • The Food Corridor
  • Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative 
  • Local Catch Network
  • National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation
  • Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • The Wallace Center

Conflict of Interest Statement from USDA Providing technical assistance under this cooperative agreement to applicants of the Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program and the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs does not preclude your organization from applying for FY2021 funding from these same programs. Activities completed under this cooperative agreement must be separate and distinct from any planned activities that your organization would complete under a grant project as a primary or subrecipient.