The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) is now accepting Field Tested mini-grant applications for beginning specialty crop producers who are current CFAC farm members. If you are a Montana-based operation that could benefit from up to $5,000 in funding to increase your on-farm efficiencies and specialty crop production, please consider applying. This grant round, CFAC has $60,000 to award.
CFAC’s Field Tested mini-grants aim to grow and diversify the pool of farmers participating in Montana’s Specialty Crop industry. This grant helps remove hurdles for new farmers by allowing them to start and expand farming ventures. Mini-grant funding must be used to increase the competitiveness of Montana Specialty Crops, which are defined as fruits, vegetables, peas and lentils, dried fruit, horticulture and nursery crops. You can read through our previous grant recipients’ Field Tested Reports to learn more about the projects we’ve funded in the past.
Field Tested Reports
Field Tested grant projects are reported as a short publication to share the impact and lessons learned with other new specialty crop producers in Montana. Each Field Tested grant recipient must agree to a plan for data collection and communication with CFAC staff so that a Field Tested report can be produced by the end of the grant period in September 2020.
Applications are due November 1, 2019. Awardees will be announced by December 2, 2019. Applicants that are awarded a mini-grant will need to agree on a method of data collection, report on the efficiencies they plan to develop, and participate in at least one site visit to their farm.
Steps in the application process:
1. Submit your initial Application by Friday, November 1, 2019. Projects must solely increase the competitiveness of Montana Specialty crops. Grants can range between $1,000-$5,000.
2. If the project fits the parameters of the mini-grant program, CFAC will contact you to schedule a meeting (phone or in-person). We’ll provide personalized technical assistance and help complete your final application. This meeting is a required part of the application process.
3. We will announce grant awardees by Monday, December 2, 2019.
4. Important notes: Grant purchases can be reimbursed only after a contract is signed and reporting methods are agreed on between CFAC and awardee. Each grant recipient must contribute information for a Field Tested report about their project and how it enhances specialty crop production.
- Nov. 1, 2019 Application submitted
- Nov. 11-15, 2019 Required technical assistance appointments
- Dec. 2, 2019 Grantees announced
- Dec 2019 Contracts Signed & Data Collection Determined
- January 2020 Funds for project reimbursed
- May/June 2020 CFAC Site Visits
- July/Aug 2020 Collect final data from grantees
- Aug 2020 Funds awarded* to implement possible changes to project
* Upon completion of reporting process and Field Tested Report review, grant awardees will be eligible for up to $500 in additional funds for qualified purchases that build upon lessons learned to enhance their original project.
Contact us for more info:
Dave Renn, Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program Director (E)firstname.lastname@example.org
Shay Farmer, Regional Food Access Coordinator (E)email@example.com (C) 802-735-6680
Office phone: 406-926-1004