Grant opportunities available for Kentucky farmers, restaurants, research institutions

January 14, 2021 | 12:07 am

Updated January 13, 2021 | 9:03 pm

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Several grant funding opportunities are open through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).

“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture offers a number of grant funding opportunities to support farmers, restaurants, and research institutions every year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.. “These grant programs are more important than ever before as we support our farm community in rebuilding after the coronavirus pandemic.”

Buy Local – Connecting farmers to restaurants
The Buy Local program provides incentives for participating restaurants and other food service businesses to buy and use Kentucky Proud products for their customers. The program offers participants a 15% reimbursement for the cost of eligible Kentucky Proud farm food up to $8,000 a year or a lifetime cap of $36,000.

For Buy Local guidelines and an application, go For more information, contact Grace Ragain at [email protected] or (502) 782-4110.

Farm To Fork – Showcasing Kentucky farm products
The Farm to Fork program provides incentives for local organizations to host dinners that showcase local farms, farmers, producers, and Kentucky Proud products while benefiting a local charity. This cost-share grant reimburses up to 50% (no more than $500) of the approved applicant’s event promotional expenditures branded with the Kentucky Proud logo.

For more information, contact Alisha Morris at [email protected] or (502) 782-4119. For guidelines and an application, go to

Promotional Grant – Advertising with Kentucky Proud
The Kentucky Proud Promotional Grant reimburses members for up to 50 percent of future eligible expenses for advertising, marketing, and reaching consumers at the point of purchase to promote agricultural products with direct Kentucky farm impact. Grants are limited to 10 percent of the applicant’s reported direct Kentucky farm impact up to $8,000 a year or a lifetime cap of $36,000.

For more information, contact Jonathan Van Balen at [email protected] or (502) 782-4132. For an application, guidelines, and other documents, go to

Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) – Diversifying Kentucky agriculture
The Specialty Crop Block Grant program is a federal grant program aimed at supporting specialty crops in agriculture. Applicants must describe how the projects will potentially affect and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public. 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations and quasi government entities, including public universities, are eligible to apply. All projects are subject to the availability of funds. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

Preliminary proposals must be submitted by email to [email protected] no later than 4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday. Qualifying applicants will be notified and invited to complete a full grant application.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticultural products, nursery crops (including floriculture), and honey. For a comprehensive list, interested parties may visit

KDA receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the specialty crop grant program and conducts an annual competitive application process to award grant funds.

January 14, 2021 | 12:07 am

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