Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rhode Island DEM announced availability of $400,000 in farming grants

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recently announced that nearly $400,000 is now available to small businesses through the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) and the Farm Viability Grant Program.

"Rhode Islanders take great pride in their agricultural heritage and diverse food cultures," DEM Director Janet Coit said. "It is part of what makes our state such a special place to live, visit, and raise a family. And increasingly, local food and agriculture are hotbeds for innovation and entrepreneurship — spurred on by a growing awareness of the benefits of eating fresh, locally grown food and being connected to a local farmer, nursery, or fisherman.”

The LASA Grant Program, in cooperation with the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, boosts the state’s farming, aquaculture and seafood indusries by offering new and small farmers, producer groups and non-profits grants of up to $20,000. The Farm Viability Grant Program is open to farmers and agricultural and educational groups and is intended to develop the production of and marketplace for specialty crops like fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, among others.

“We're proud to invest in the continued growth of local food and green industries and to support the many new businesses, working families, and innovative initiatives funded under these programs." Coit said.

"Adequate nutritious food is essential to human wellbeing and the bedrock of economic development," Kenneth Payne, chair of the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, said. "LASA is a building block in strengthening Rhode Island's agriculture and seafood sectors. Let's all eat well and enjoy Rhode Island's best."

Applications must be submitted to the DEM by Feb. 16.

Organizations in this story

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