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By Valley Ag Voice Staff 

California’s farming and ranching communities have a pivotal window of opportunity to apply for various agricultural grants as deadlines approach in April. Funding opportunities include value-added producer grants, farm-to-school programs, and student scholarships.  


The Farm to School Incubator Grant Program is open until April 4. Grants are competitive and targeted at increasing local food procurement for school meal programs and expanding educational agriculture and gardening activities. 

CDFA will award up to $52.8 million through four separate funding tracks. Track 4, the Farm to School Producer Grant, will fund food producers to increase production, processing, or distribution capacity to sell California-grown foods to the school food market.  


The Value-Added Producer Grant program application deadline is April 16. Agricultural producers interested in value-added activities can apply for funding meant for planning activities or capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. 

Priority applicants include beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, small or medium-sized farms, ranch-structured as a family farm, farmer or rancher cooperative, and those proposing a mid-tier value chain. 

These grants — totaling approximately $31 million — are part of the Local Agriculture Market Program under the 2018 Farm Bill. The maximum grant amount for planning grants is $75,000 and working capital grants are $250,000. 


Westlands Water District is offering scholarships to seniors from local west side high schools who are planning to attend a post-secondary education program — such as a two or four-year college or university. 

Applicants will choose from three topics for a 350-550 word essay. The topics are as follows:  

  • Explain how agriculture has affected your life. 
  • Explain how Westlands Water District has affected you and your family. 
  • Explain the importance of agricultural water to California and the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Winners are selected based on the submitted application, essay, and academic transcript as well as references. Each recipient will be awarded $1,000. The scholarship application deadline is April 21. 

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