Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENTO, May 20, 2021 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Office of Farm Equity announces that it is awarding $1.1 million in grants to 11 projects throughout the state via the 2021 California Underserved and Small-Scale Producer Grant Program (CUSP).
These grant projects will provide critical technical assistance for small-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to apply for COVID-19 relief funds, adjust business planning and marketing strategies, and other direct technical support for producers to become more resilient and recover from the adverse effects of COVID-19. The funding for this grant program was made possible through SB 85.
“This project is a critical part of California’s recognition that we need to support small and historically underserved farmers and ranchers so that they gain equal access to federal relief programs,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Both the Governor and the Legislature took the initiative to make this funding available as proposed in January’s ‘early action’ budget and enacted with the signing of Senate Bill 85, and we also were able to incorporate the input of our stakeholders this spring, so this has come together quickly.”
The complete list of awardees and summaries of their projects can be found at www.cdfa.ca.gov/CUSP/
This program will award competitive grants to facilitate direct assistance to individual small and mid-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who need support applying for economic relief grant programs and assistance with business planning and marketing strategies.
The following entities were eligible to apply during this application period: registered Non-Profit organizations, Tribal Governments and Resource Conservation Districts. This program has two components for which eligible applicants can apply, and applicants may apply for Part 1 only or for both Parts 1 and 2:
Part 1: Technical Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers – Funding for technical assistance providers to support farmers and ranchers in applying for economic relief grant programs and assistance with business planning and marketing strategies and other business economic recovery activities.
Part 2: Direct Grant Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers – Eligible entities are also able to apply as a “regional administrator” for grant funds to distribute directly to farmers and ranchers to aid in economic recovery and relief measures and/or leverage existing economic relief funding programs.