Charleston, W.Va. - The West Virginia Department of Agriculture in conjunction with West Virginia University Extension Service has announced two grant writing workshop opportunities. The first will be held Feb. 18 at the WVU Agricultural and Sciences Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the second, Feb. 21 at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Jackson County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
These workshops will focus on improving the funding success rate of applicants to various grant programs, including the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), NESARE Farmer and Partnership Grants, Specialty Crop Block Grants, and others.
"Ambition and innovation come together with funding to create businesses. Grants are an amazing opportunity to acquire the capital startups need," said West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt. "These workshops provide essential tools for navigating the grant process and understanding what grantors want to see."
The trainings will cover the fundamentals of grant writing to help applicants compete for competitive grants under The Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill has authorized $30 million in grant funding annually through 2018 to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local and regional markets.
"The grant workshops ensure more communities and businesses across the country can participate in the competitive grant process," said WVU Extension Agricultural Economist Dee Singh-Knights. "We teach you to write proposals that create real economic opportunities and help meet the growing demand for locally and regionally produced food."
This is a free event, but registration is required and is available online. All materials and refreshments will be provided. The training is open to producers, producer groups, community leaders and agricultural service providers. The sessions are a collaboration of WVU Extension Service, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia State University Extension and Northeast SARE (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education) programs.
"The impact of programs like this grant-writing workshop can be felt throughout the country," WVDA Marketing Specialist Cindy Martel noted. "We're empowering farmers and producers to find or improve their access to funding sources."