FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

There are number of funding opportunities for the sheep industry including loans, grants and promotional funds and sponsorships.

NATIONAL LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION SHEEP & GOAT FUND

The NLPA Sheep and Goat Fund is a revolving fund established within NLPA to assist the U.S. sheep and goat industries by strengthening and enhancing the production and marketing of sheep and goats and their products in the United States.

NATIONAL SHEEP INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

The primary objective of the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program( SPMGP) is to fund a number of projects determined by industry leaders to be priorities for benefiting the sheep industry. That list is:

  1. Strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development and the development of innovative approaches to solve long term problems.
  2. Provide leadership training and education to industry stakeholders.
  3. Enhance sheep and sheep products in the United States through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and sheep products.
  4. Promote marketing of sheep and sheep products through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
  5. Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and by seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the industry community.

LET’S GROW FUNDS

The American Sheep Industry has appropriated approximately $325,000 annually for fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 to be used by producer groups to advocate the Let’s Grow mission, which is to support, promote and ensure the U.S. sheep industry’s future through the development of innovative and sustainable initiatives that increase the productivity, profitability and growth of the American sheep industry, which will further enhance domestic wool and lamb production

The funds are designed to remove current barriers that have historically prevented sheep producers from adopting these technologies. These barriers may be financial, technical, facilitative, or a combination of such. Funds are expected to make long term changes in sheep production that will live on into the future past the funding opportunities of this program.

Funds are not intended to subsidize normal operating expenses of sheep producers and/or sheep producer groups.

AMERICAN LAMB PROMOTIONAL FUNDING PROGRAM

The American Lamb Board designed the “Supplier Cooperative Funding Program” as a promotion tool for American Lamb suppliers and direct marketers to help fund branded retail, foodservice and/or consumer promotions. The cooperative funds are awarded twice a year.
Timing:
First Round Applications are due: October 31, 2016 ($40,000)
Second Round Applications are due: April 31, 2016 ($40,000)

The American Lamb Board’s Local Lamb Promotional Funding program is designed to expand ALB’s efforts to promote American Lamb throughout the country. The program provides funds to state and local lamb organizations to support activities and programs which promote American Lamb at the local level to consumers, media, chefs and/or retailers. The funds cannot be used to support industry functions/target an industry audience.

Timing: Applications are due: February 28, 2017

BEGINNING FARMERS & RANCHERS

USDA, through the Farm Service Agency, pro- vides direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources. Each fiscal year, the Agency targets a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loan (OL) funds to beginning farmers and ranchers.

THE FARMERS MARKET PROMOTION PROGRAM

The FMPP was created through a recent amend- ment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Mar- keting Act of 1976. The grants, authorized by the FMPP, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.

FARM LOANS

FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and sup- plies. Loans can also be used to construct buildings or make farm improvements

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

The mission of the SARE program is to advance sustainable innovations in American agriculture. SARE is uniquely grassroots, administered by four regional offices guided by administrative councils of local experts. The following types of grants are offered through SARE:

» Research and Education Grants: Ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 or more, these grants fund projects that usually involve scientists, producers, and others in an interdisciplinary approach.

» Professional Development Grants: Ranging from $20,000 to $120,000, these grants spread the knowledge about sustainable concepts and practices by educating Cooperative Extension Service staff and other agricultural professionals.

» Producer Grants: Producer grants typically run between $1,000 and $15,000 to conduct research, marketing and demonstration projects and share the results with other farmers and ranchers.