SPECIAL EXPERTISE: USDA FUNDING
As the leading national expert on USDA grant programs, I have crafted 54 original proposals and numerous reports to more than a dozen different USDA programs, resulting in more than $3.8 million in new funding to date.
I’ve provided consulting assistance on a variety of topics related to USDA funding, including:
- Researching appropriate funding opportunities and providing strategy advice to organizations new to USDA funding
- Designing innovative programs to address community food needs
- Matching organizations with new partners and facilitating funded collaborations
- Start-to-finish consulting support with writing and submitting full applications
- Developing project budgets and securing matching support
- Managing funded projects
- Completing evaluation and reporting on funded projects
- Serving as a national technical advisor to new applicants through webinars and workshops
- Acting as a peer reviewer for the USDA to determine eligibility of applicants
I have worked with the following USDA programs in one or more of these capacities:
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP): In addition to writing several successful proposals to this program and evaluating funded projects, I have served as a national technical advisor on BFRDP with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and NIFA. Please see this page for resources on the BFRDP program, including the Online Self-Assessment Tool I designed for potential applicants.
- Community Food Projects (CFP)
- Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP)
- Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
- Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP)
- AFRI Foundational Research Program
- Farm to School program
- NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)
- Specialty Crop Block Grants
- 2501 Program/Outreach & Education for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers
- Risk Management Education Partnerships (RMEP)
- Extension Risk Management Education Program (ERME)
- Farm Service Agency (FSA) Outreach & Education
- North Central SARE
I have helped organizations complete the SAM and grants.gov registration processes; identify appropriate grant programs for their organizational goals; and design comprehensive programs that meet both community needs and USDA funding priorities. I have also worked with organizations to design new programs, conduct evaluations, build partnerships, and refine their strategic approach to federal funding. I have served as a national educator on USDA programs in local and national webinars and workshops.
In addition to helping nonprofits with the complete application process for USDA grants, I provide assistance to successful applicants with managing and reporting on their grants to ensure the best possible results. I have found in my practice that many organizations are unprepared for the extensive financial and programmatic documentation that is required of them by these grants, and these internal capacity issues can become a major obstacle to achieving the deliverables of the project if they aren’t planned for in advance.
Many of my clients choose to write in a role for me in federal grant applications we complete together, to ensure the project has sufficient resources for project management and evaluation if it is funded. I have managed, evaluated and reported on numerous USDA grants, including 3-year grants from NIFA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) and Community Food Projects programs, as well as the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. I also served as a peer reviewer for the Farmers Market Promotion Program in 2014.