USDA announces $7 Million in Competitive Grant Funding for the Acer Access

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17 February 2022, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced $7 million in competitive grant funding for the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer) and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).

“These grant programs help states and territories target resources locally to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “We know that innovation is often best developed at the local level, where the potential for new markets is most evident. Through FSMIP, we encourage big ideas that can create marketing opportunities for producers, and through Acer, we aim to increase the competitiveness of the U.S. maple syrup industry.”

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The Acer Program supports the efforts of states, tribal governments, and research institutions to promote the domestic maple syrup industry. Acer supports two types of projects: (1) Market Development and Promotion projects to improve consumer knowledge, awareness and understanding of the maple syrup industry and its products and (2) Producer and Landowner Education projects to advance producer knowledge, awareness and understanding of research, educational resources, or natural resource sustainability practices affecting the maple syrup industry and its products.

FSMIP offers grants to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. FSMIP grants require a one-to-one dollar match.

AMS encourages applications intended to serve, smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and/or underserved communities. For grants intending to serve these audiences, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.

USDA promotes climate-resilient landscapes and rural economic systems, including tools to support agriculture, forests, grazing lands, and rural communities. AMS encourages applicants to consider including goals and activities related to reducing and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or adapting to the already occurring climate change in their project’s design and implementation.

Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 26, 2022. Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy.

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