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Grant Programs

Illinois Department of Agriculture Administered Grants:

Illinois Specialty Crop Block Grant

The Illinois Department of Agriculture receives Specialty Crop Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Specialty Crop Block Grant - Farm Bill. A portion of those grant funds will be used to fund the Illinois Specialty Crop Grant Program. Through this program Illinois specialty crop projects can apply for grant funds to help increase the competitiveness of the Illinois specialty crop industry.

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program

The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program is to build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, to provide more and better markets to small farms and food businesses, to support the development of value-added products for consumers, fair prices, fair wages, and new and safe job opportunities. 

Agricultural Grant Programs Administered by Other Entities:

Dairy Business Innovation Alliance Grants

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA) has established a grant program that will solicit, review and approve proposals from dairy farms and businesses within the region, who will then receive a financial grant to help bring said ideas to fruition.

Examples of applications qualifying for grants could include:

  • Modernization, specialization or expansion of farmstead or plant infrastructure to support product development or improvement.
  • Increase sales of current product quality/range through product development, packaging and marketing.
  • Value chain and commodity innovation to develop specialty dairy products from their operations.
  • Ensure quality compliance to give businesses greater access to the food industry, e.g. to supply local stores and processors.

This is grant program is administered by the DBIA.  For more information, please click the link above. 

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, and nearly $4 million has been awarded to more than 930 veterans since 2011.

This grant program is administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition. For more information, please follow the link above. 

Illinois Local Food Infrastructure Grant

The new Local Food Infrastructure Grant Program will invest in critical infrastructure to scale up the processing, aggregation, and distribution of local food to meet the needs of Illinois communities. 

This grant program is admininstered by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.  For more information, please click the link above. 

Illinois- Equitable Access Towards Sustainable Systems (IL-EATS) Program

The primary goal of the Illinois - Equitable Access Towards Sustainable Systems (EATS) program, funded by the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA), is to improve domestic agriculture supply chain resiliency by strengthening local and regional food systems, expanding economic opportunities for local, socially disadvantaged farmers in Illinois, and building partnerships that get fresh, nutritious food to underserved communities.

This grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. For more information, please follow the link above.