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Farm Viability Grant

Due to the extended email disruption, the deadline for the Farm Viability Grant has been extended to midnight on Monday, May 25, 2020.

The Farm Viability Grant (FVG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26j) is a competitive matching grant program open to municipalities, regional planning organizations, association of municipalities, and agricultural non-profits. The maximum grant award is $49,999.

 

Funding for the Farm Viability Grant is provided through the State of Connecticut Agricultural Viability Grant Program, established in 2005 through Public Act 228-05, An Act Concerning Farmland Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing, and Historic Preservation.

 

The Farm Viability Grant Program and any awards are subject to limitations of state funding.

Viability Guidance Doc and Forms
Appendix A: Application Cover Page (word doc)
Appendix B: Budget Form - Word doc OR Excel doc
Appendix C: Project Plan format

Farm Viability Grant Frequently Asked Questions

When will applications be accepted again?

UPDATE: Applications will be accepted until midnight on May 25, 2020

 

Who is eligible for the Farm Viability Grant (FVG)

Non-profit organizations with an agricultural mission, municipalities, groups of municipalities, regional councils of governments organized under the provisions of sections 4-124i to 4-124p, inclusive, and groups of municipalities that have established a regional inter-local agreement pursuant to sections 7-339a to 7-339l, inclusive are all eligible so long as they're active for three years or more.

 

What is maximum amount an applicant could be awarded?
Up to $49,999.

 

Is there an applicant match involved? 
Yes. A 40% match for the total project costs must be provided. The match can be through cash or in-kind services.

 

If I apply by the deadline does it mean I'll be funded?

No.  This is a very competitive grant program.  Applications are evaluated by a team of reviewers and is based on the project plan.  

 

How is the grant money paid to someone who's been awarded? 
Once a contract is fully executed and a State of CT Purchase Order is issued, grantees may request an advance payment of up to 50% of the total award. The balance of the award will be provided after the project is successfully completed, a final financial report outlining all expenses associated with the project have been received and approved, a final project report has been received and approved, and site inspection by agency staff is conducted (if applicable.)  For any building a certificate of occupancy must be obtained as well. 

 

What projects can the FVG grant money be used for?
Projects must directly impact and/or foster agricultural viability.  A list of funding priorities for the current year are outlined in the guidance, however all projects which directly impact and/or foster agricultural viability will be considered. A “project” is defined as “a set of interrelated tasks with a cohesive, distinct, specified, and defined goal. It follows a planned, organized approach over a fixed period of time and within specific limitations (cost, performance, quality, etc.). Additionally, it uses resources that are specifically allocated to the work of the project and usually involves a team.  Projects are different from other ongoing operations in an organization because, unlike operations, projects have a definitive beginning and end, they have a limited duration. One way to think about this is that a project has an overarching goal that you want to accomplish through a series of individual activities or tasks.”

 

Can I purchase equipment with the grant?

While it can vary, general purpose equipment - tractors, trucks, boats, etc. - are not an allowable purchase.  However, each application and project is unique and may be considered.  Equipment directly related to the project may also be an allowable match expense. 

 

Can I pay employees salaries with the grant?

Generally, grant funds cannot go toward the salaries of those already employed by the applicant to execute the project.  Consultant expenses are allowable expenses.  Salaries paid to employees to execute the project are an allowable match expense.  Additional information on eligible and ineligible expenses can be found in the grant guidance.

 

Can I apply for grant funds for a project I've already done?

No, you cannot have started the project for which you're applying.

 

How long do I have to complete the project? 
You will have one year to complete the project from the time the contract is fully executed. 


How do I apply for this grant? 
1.  Review the grant application guidelines above

2.  Fill out the application cover page and budget forms in detail per the guidelines

3.  Develop your project plan per the information provided in the guidelines

4.  Submit the completed forms and project plan and via email by the deadline

 

Can I use whatever format I desire to apply for the grant?

No.  You must you the provided format which can be found in the hyperlinks above for the cover page (Appendix A), budget form (Appendix B), and project plan format (Appendix C).  Applications submitted in a format which is not the format provided in Appendix A, B, and C shall be disqualified.

 

Can I submit my application by mailing it to the Department of Agriculture?

No, applications are only accepted via emailing to Jaime.Smith@ct.gov.  Links to download large files from a Google drive or other FTP site are allowable.

 

Can I view the application of an awarded project?

No, we cannot share or distribute applications from projects that were awarded.  Applications, which are primarily based on a business/project plan, are considered proprietary information and must remain confidential. 

 

Can someone from the Department of Agriculture help me write my business/project plan and complete the application?

No, agency staff cannot be involved in the development of a business/project plan.  Information is available above to help develop a successful application.  The Connecticut Small Business Development CenterUConn Cooperative Extension, and Farm Credit East have varying resources to help you submit an application.   

 

Can I start the project as soon as I know that I've been awarded?
No, you may not start the project until signatures of the grantee, Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Attorney Generals Office (if applicable) have signed the contract. 

 

If I've already received this grant in the past can I apply again?

Yes.  However, past performance and if you currently have an open grant contract will be taken into consideration.