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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , officeofpublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #22-159

CDFA SEEKING PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE 2023 DRAFT REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE CALIFORNIA UNDERSERVED AND SMALL PRODUCER GRANT PROGRAM (CUSP)

Sacramento, November 4, 2022 - CDFA’s Farm Equity Office is seeking public input on the draft Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2023 California Underserved and Small Producer Grant Program (CUSP). The RFA will be open for a 15-day public comment period starting on November 4 and ending on November 18, 2022.


The grant program will focus on providing critical technical assistance and direct financial assistance for small-scale, mid-scale or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as well as assistance with business planning, marketing strategies, and other business economic recovery activities. This program also supports organizations acting as “regional grant administrators” to provide direct grant assistance for underserved farmers and ranchers to aid in drought relief measures.


The CUSP Program draft RFA can be accessed via this link and through the CUSP Program website at cdfa.ca.gov/CUSP


The following entities are eligible to apply for the Technical Assistance Grants and/or administer the block grant drought relief funds for farmers/ranchers: Non-profit organizations, Tribal Governments, County Departments of Agriculture and Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs). Technical assistance providers must have demonstrated expertise in assisting small-scale, mid-scale or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. 
 

Eligible entities can apply for one or both of the CUSP Program components:


Technical Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers – Funding for technical assistance providers to support farmers and ranchers in applying for Federal and State drought relief grant programs and assistance with business planning, financial and marketing strategies needed to be resilient and stay in business during the on-going drought in California.


Direct Grant Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers – Eligible entities are also able to apply as a “regional administrator” to distribute grant funds directly to individual farmers and ranchers to aid in addressing specific drought relief financial needs that have been experienced as a result of the on-going drought in California.


The CUSP program has the following funding amounts available for this current round of funding:  $2 million will be available for awards for the Technical Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program, and $20 million for the Direct Grant Assistance for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers.


The grant duration is two (2) years, beginning April 1, 2023- June 30, 2025. Funds may not be expended prior to establishing an executed agreement.


To ensure the CUSP program will continue to serve the immediate drought related needs for historically underserved producers, CDFA welcomes all comments on this draft RFA.


Live/ In-person Comments: The CDFA Farm Equity Office will host one live, public comment session to welcome feedback on the draft RFA for the 2023 CUSP Program for historically underserved producers.


This webinar will be hosted on November 10, 2022, at 11:00am via Zoom in English and Spanish.


Zoom meeting information for this session is available on the CDFA CUSP Program website. No registration is necessary.


Public comments on the 2023 CUSP Program draft RFA will be accepted via email and can be submitted to carmen.carrasco@cdfa.ca.gov by 5 p.m. PT on November 18, 2022. Include “2023 CUSP Program Comments” in the subject line of the email.


CDFA will consider all feedback received on the draft RFA for the 2023 CUSP Grant Program during the 15-day public comment period beginning on November 4, 2022 before releasing a final version of the grant program solicitation.


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov