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Grants to Connecticut Crop Growers and Co-ops to Develop Agricultural Markets

Farm Transition Grant (FTG)


Agency
State

GrantWatch ID#
169724

Funding Source
Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Connecticut

Important Dates
Deadline: 01/10/24 4:00 PM Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants to Connecticut crop growers and co-ops to build capacity and develop new and varied agricultural markets. Funding is intended to support projects and initiatives that allow producers to enhance their existing operations. The goal of the grant program is to support and encourage the diversification of established farm operations, promote transitioning to value-added agricultural production and sales, and develop farmers’ markets and other venues in which a majority of products sold are grown in the state.

Four unique grant categories, for which eligible applicants can apply, are available. Applicants shall select the category for which they think their project most closely qualifies. DoAg reserves the right to alter the grant category selected by the applicant. Below are summaries of each category.

  • New Farmer Micro Grants: Supports new and beginning individuals or partnerships with one full year to three years of production history, seeking long-term careers in the CT agricultural industry. Examples of eligible expenses: Production or processing equipment directly related to agriculture, small buildings, greenhouses/hoop houses, irrigation, pasture fencing, other equipment purchases related to increasing production. New in 2024: Funds can also be used to establish websites and conduct marketing.
  • Infrastructure Investment Grant: Supports farms with a minimum of three years of production experience, with infrastructure to expand or diversify the farm’s production. Examples of eligible expenses: Livestock/pasture fencing to increase herd size/production type, barn remodeling/expansion to increase capacity, processing equipment to assist in increased efficiency and production of farm products, irrigation systems for increased production, tractor attachments specific to agriculture to diversify farm products, etc.
  • Research and Development Grant: Supports farms with a minimum of three years of production history to conduct market research and evaluate the viability of developing a new product, offering a new service, or reaching a new market. Examples of eligible expenses: Consultant fees, equipment to pilot a product or concept, expenses related to exploratory product development including fees associated with product, recipe, and market testing. NEW for 2024: Eligible activities also include in-store testing events to determine consumer viability. 
  • Innovation and Diversification Grant:  Supports farms with a minimum of three years of production history with the implementation of a new product or service for market or business expansion. Applicants do not need to have completed a Research and Development Grant through the FTG to be eligible to apply for an Innovation and Diversification Grant. An applicant should have a business plan and provide evidence of previously conducted research to determine if implementing the project is a viable investment for the business. Examples of eligible expenses: Expansion of product offerings including value-added processing equipment, equipment that will assist in diversification of farm products, construction of a farm store or processing facility, innovative technology or software, or marketing and outreach to promote the new product, service, or market.


Recipient

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The following entities are eligible to apply for all Farm Transition Grant categories:
1. Agricultural producers, singularly or jointly, whether such producers are owners or tenants of existing agribusiness within the State of Connecticut
2. Agricultural cooperatives

To qualify for the New Farmer Micro Grant, eligible entities must meet the following to qualify:
- Be the farm owner and have been in production for at least a full year.
- Be registered with the Connecticut Secretary of State, if established as a business entity such as a limited liability company or corporation.
- Apply for or possess a Farmers’ Tax Exemption Permit through the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
- Complete a crop plan
- Be the operation owner and have been in production for a full year or more
- Tenants must include a written agreement between all necessary parties regarding the submitted project

To qualify for the Infrastructure Investment Grant, Research and Development Grant, and Innovation and Diversification Grant eligible entities must meet the following:
- Be registered with the Connecticut Secretary of State, if established as a limited liability corporation or corporation
- Three years of Farmer’s Tax Exemption Certificates are required to be provided upon request by the Department.
- Tenants must include a Landlord Consent Form between all necessary parties regarding the submitted project.

Previous awardees to the Farm Transition Grant can reapply.

Ineligible
Applicants who have received two years of consecutive funding will be ineligible for an award for one year.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Office Hours and Workshops

Farm Transition Grant Overview Webinar
A virtual workshop will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2023, from 10:00-11:30a.m., via Webex, for those interested in applying for the Farm Transition Grant. This workshop will include an overview of the grant program, application components, and submission process.
Register: https://ctdoag.webex.com/webappng/sites/ctdoag/meeting/register/48fefefa297f4debab6d06febcbd39ed?ticket=4832534b00000006d95a554b4fb1bf506ef26aad10960ee180e8664bbaa97e3a03b0094fb73862ee×tamp=1698844396668&RGID=r5b7e2fb1ab5485e0e28b63d56d885bb2

Navigating the Budget Sheet
A virtual workshop will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2023, from 10:00-11:30a.m., via Webex, to explain the intricacies of the budget sheet and budget narrative, complete a mock budget sheet, and provide tips and tricks to allow Excel to work for you, rather than against you.
Register: https://ctdoag.webex.com/weblink/register/re2c396d912aed4b59c411e415fa0a720

Open Office Hours
Virtual office hours will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, from 6:00-7:30p.m., via Webex, to give applicants a chance to drop in and ask questions.
Register: https://ctdoag.webex.com/weblink/register/r77d281e1497e232a3d1bae1ae5847cd7

Virtual office hours will be held on Thursday, January 4, 2024, from 6:00-7:30p.m., via Webex, to give applicants a chance to drop in and ask questions.
Register: https://ctdoag.webex.com/weblink/register/r78e75a2c8d466f7cf1e8ca2479bbc74c

The Farm Transition Grant Overview and Budget Sheet workshops will be recorded and posted on the Farm Transition Grant website for those who cannot attend the live session. The FAQs available on the Farm Transition Grant website will be updated after the conclusion of the Open Office Hours.

Pre-Application Information
Application Period: Wednesday, November 1, 2023, through Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at 4:00pm.

- Evaluation of applications through February 9, 2024.
- Notification of awards released February 16, 2024.

Match requirements:
- New Farmer Micro Grants: 25% of project costs
- Infrastructure Investment Grant: 50% of project costs
- Research and Development Grant: 40% of project costs
- Innovation and Diversification Grant: 50% of project costs

This is a reimbursement grant.

Application information: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farm-Transition-Grant/Apply

Eligibility: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farm-Transition-Grant/Eligibility

Documents/Forms: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farm-Transition-Grant/Documents

Laws/Regulations: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farm-Transition-Grant/Regulations

FAQs: https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/ADaRC/Publications/Farm-Transition-Grant/FAQ

Workshop recording: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3a0xoberl7w4jttyicamg/Overview-Webinar-Recording.mp4?rlkey=hi6bbhl6j13cyoyojvuxnb47t&dl=0

View the virtual workshop recording from Nov. 30, 2023: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/7edkge1p4i4bp74ep85ne/Budget-Sheet-Webinar.mp4?rlkey=5arqp57xh8d3ev7re31eywzgn&dl=0

Estimated Size of Grant
- New Farmer Micro Grants: Max award amount: $5,000
- Infrastructure Investment Grant: Max award amount: $20,000
- Research and Development Grant: Max award $25,000
- Innovation and Diversification Grant: Max award $49,999

Term of Contract
Anticipated Contract Start Date: March 15, 2024, or April 1, 2024.

Project Period: March 15, 2024, through September 15, 2025, or April 1, 2024, through October 1, 2025.

Contact Information
New Farmer Micro Grant Application: https://www.cognitoforms.com/CTDoAg/_2024FarmTransitionGrantNewFarmerApplication

Infrastructure Investment Application: https://www.cognitoforms.com/CTDoAg/_2024FarmTransitionGrantInfrastructureInvestmentApplication

Research & Development Application: https://www.cognitoforms.com/CTDoAg/_2024FarmTransitionGrantResearchDevelopmentApplication

Innovation & Diversification Application: https://www.cognitoforms.com/CTDoAg/_2024FarmTransitionGrantInnovationDiversificationApplication

All questions on the Farm Transition Grant Program can be directed to:
Alison Grabarz
Alison.Grabarz@ct.gov
(860) 993-5275

Connecticut Department of Agriculture
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 703
Hartford, CT 06103

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