The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is inviting New Mexicans involved in agricultural production to apply for funding through one of two grant programs. Both programs aim to develop new markets and/or expand existing ones for agricultural products grown in New Mexico, but the programs differ in their respective details.
The first is called the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Specialty Crops), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NMDA serves as the fiscal agent for New Mexico’s share of the federal funding.
“Chile, onions, pecans, honey, greenhouse/nursery crops, lavender – they’re all examples of specialty crops, which means marketing and promotion projects built around them could be considered for this federal funding,” said Felicia Frost, the NMDA marketing specialist who administers New Mexico’s share of the federal funds. USDA’s definition and list of eligible specialty crops is at 1.usa.gov/18wggxV.
The deadline to apply for funding through the Specialty Crops program is 5 p.m. MST on April 20. Funding is expected to become available on October 1. Under Specialty Crops, project length varies from one to three years.
The second program is called New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program (ADPFP). Unlike the Specialty Crops program, ADPFP places no restrictions on the type of agricultural commodity that can benefit. The deadline to apply for funding through the ADPFP is 5 p.m. MST on April 29. Funding is expected to become available July 1. Under ADPFP, project length cannot exceed one year.
For both grant programs, Frost said projects are given greater consideration when they have what it takes to succeed beyond the life of the grant – in other words, if they make good business sense in the long term.
Both programs prohibit the use of grant funds to purchase land, buildings, equipment, or any other type of capital improvement. Also under both programs, funds are paid on a reimbursement basis – meaning they’re released only after the grantee has submitted a progress report, as well as an invoice and corresponding receipts.
The same project cannot be funded through both programs.
Frost and other NMDA staff are hosting two free workshops for potential applicants to understand the two grant programs and how to apply for them:
Santa Fe: March 18 from 1 to 3 p.m., Hotel Santa Fe (meeting room TBD), 1501 Paseo de Peralta
Las Cruces: March 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., NMDA (Main Conference Room), 3190 South Espina Street
For more information on either grant program, as well as the workshops, please visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575‑646-4929.