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USDA NIFA Current Request for Proposals

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program:

Approximately $19 million will be available to support training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers in fiscal year 2012.  Applications are requested for two types of projects:  (a) Standard Projects:  to new and established local and regional training, education, outreach and technical assistance initiatives that address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers in selected areas; and (b) Educational Enhancement Projects:

To help develop seamless beginning farmer and rancher education programs by conducting evaluation, coordination and enhancement activities for Standard Projects and other non-funded beginning farmer programs.  The deadline for submitting applications is November 22, 2011.  More information about the program and the grants writing webinar can be found on the BFRDP website:

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Challenge:

Areas: (1) Sustainable Bioenergy; (2) Climate Variability and Change; and (3) Fellowships Grant Program.

While each challenge area includes several programs, I thought I would call special attention to two social sciences-focused programs, i.e., policy and socioeconomic impacts, under Sustainable Bioenergy (SBE) Challenge Area.  SBE RFA is focused on the production of advanced non-ethanol, infrastructure-compatible biofuels from feedstocks such as energy cane, perennial grasses, sorghum, woody biomass, and oilseeds.

“Letter of Intent” is required prior to submitting a full application for SBE and Climate Variability and Change challenge areas.  Please see respective challenge area and its programs of your interest for both letter of intent and full application due dates.

In the Fellowships Grant Program, which encompasses pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, it also includes an area in agriculture economics and rural communities.

Details can be found at: or get the RFAs directly at:

Please contact respective program contact(s) for questions and additional information.