The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced that $4.8 million is now available for food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance projects. The monies can benefit a number of sectors within the food industry-- owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, novice farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. The funding is made possible by NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program.
Here is what NIFA has to say about the program:
The Food Safety Outreach Program supports projects that encourage participants from local communities, community-based and non-governmental organizations, universities, extension, and state and federal agencies that develop and implement food safety outreach programs. These programs facilitate the integration of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) food safety guidelines into a variety of agricultural production and processing systems, including conventional, sustainable and organic systems. New projects will focus on, but are not limited to, addressing knowledge and resource gaps for the target audience in the areas of pre- and post-harvest water testing and sampling, soil amendments, and developing supply chain programs and/or food safety plans. The program continues to fund projects that develop bilingual and culturally-appropriate training resources.
In order to be eligible for funding, applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
- The Cooperative Extension Service for a U.S. state or territory;
- Non-government organizations and/or community-based organizations representing owners and operators of farms, small food processors, or small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers that have a commitment to public health and expertise in administering programs that contribute to food safety;
- Federal, state, local or tribal agencies;
- An institution of higher education (as defined in Section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)) or a foundation maintained by an institution of higher education;
- A collaboration of two or more eligible entities.
The deadline for applications is June 6, 2017. Application details can be found on NIFA.USDA.gov.