NASDA Foundation-EPA Historically Underserved Farmers Grant Program

The NASDA Foundation has been awarded $3 million in cooperative agreement funding to help underserved farmers improve water quality, habitat resilience and information exchange to benefit the ecosystems within the Gulf of Mexico Watershed. This grant was awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Division.


NASDA Foundation is pleased to announce 14 sub-awardees of the NASDA Foundation-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Historically Underserved Farmers Cooperative Agreement. The organizations selected will work on projects to help underserved farmers improve water quality, habitat resilience and information exchange to benefit Gulf of Mexico Watershed ecosystems.

  • Appalachian Sustainable Development (VA)
  • Cherokee Historical State Resort Park of Aurora (KY)
  • Clinch Valley Soil and Water Conservation District (VA)
  • Cowan Community Action Group, Inc. (KY)
  • Cumberland River Compact (TN)
  • Evergreen Soil & Water Conservation District (VA)
  • Holston River Soil and Water Conservation District (VA)
  • Kentucky Ag Development Advocacy (KY)
  • Pasa Sustainable Agriculture (PA/WV)
  • School of Animal Sciences, Virginia Tech (VA)
  • Simpson County Conservation District (KY)
  • Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District (TN)
  • The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (TN)
  • West Virginia Conservation Agency (WV)

The Grant Portal was open to accept Pre-Applications from March 1 through April 15, 2023 and Full Applications through June 14, 2023. This period has now ended, and no new requests are being accepted at this time. Please see the Applications and Project Timelines section below for additional information.

For full Grant Guidance for this funding opportunity, please download the latest version here:


All applications must be made through the NASDA Foundation online Grant Portal. The application and project timelines are as follows:

  • March 1 – April 15, 2023:  Grant Portal open to accept Pre-Applications
  • May 2023:  Successful Pre-Applicants were notified of their eligibility to submit a Full-Application
  • May 17 – June 14, 2023:  Grant Portal open to accept Full Applications (by invitation only to the highest scoring Pre-Applicants)
  • August 2023:  Award Announcements
  • September 2023 – September 30, 2026:  Maximum Grant Performance Period

Eligible Applicants are organizations who work directly with producers (farmers and ranchers) from underserved communities and/or directly with underserved producers, and include the following types of organizations:

  • Beginning Farmer Organizations
  • Conservation Districts
  • Institutions of Higher Learning
  • Local and State Government Agencies
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and non-profit organizations as defined in 2 C.F.R. § 200 with influence on underserved farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers and/or limited resource farmers
  • Tribal Nations (State or Federally Recognized)
  • Veteran Farmer or Rancher Groups

Eligible organizations must directly collaborate with underserved farmers on projects within EPA’s Ohio-Tennessee Region. States within the Ohio-Tennessee region are Kentucky & Tennessee, MS River Drainage areas of Indiana & Ohio, western portions of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, & Virginia; and the following counties in Maryland (Garrett) & New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua).

For a full list of counties eligible for grants from the NASDA Foundation and the three other regional granting partners, see Appendix B of the Grant Guidance.


Working farms, ranches, and forests provide food, fuel, and fiber for the world, but activities can affect water quality locally and across multi-state watersheds. Implementation of soil and water conservation practices can help reduce runoff and nonpoint source pollution.

The objectives of this program are to:
  • Work directly with historically underserved producers on novel or innovative techniques, methods, or approaches that reduce non-point source pollution and increase the sustainability and resiliency of their operations;
  • Leverage partnerships to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration within and among historically underserved communities;
  • Collect and analyze data to demonstrates the results of funded projects; and
  • Disseminate results to the community to inform future conservation or management practices and expand adoption of the most cost-effective and sustainable approaches.
Projects must include at least one of the following types of activities:
  • Water quality initiatives such as nutrient reduction with creative runoff treatment solutions; innovative year-round ground cover to limit erosion; planting field buffers; conservation tillage; managing livestock access to streams; address key manure nutrient management issues (e.g., phosphorus saturation in soil, ammonia emissions, alternative uses for manure nutrients); increase the implementation of nitrogen-use efficiency tools to better manage inorganic nitrogen inputs on cropland.
  • Habitat restoration initiatives such as riparian zone improvement; observing environmental windows; restoration or protection of wildlife corridors; partner easements; landowner habitat planting/restoration; other innovative habitat ideas; conservation and restoration of perennially flooded grasslands and forests.
  • Sustainable forest management initiatives such as utilizing sustainable forestry practices that protect and maintain water quality and habitat; improving utilization of sustainable forestry practices through training, education, and public outreach; and monitoring effectiveness of sustainable practices.

Three additional Regional EPA Grant Programs, for awards outside the Ohio-Tennessee Region, can be accessed here:

NASDA is collaborating with the other awardees to meet EPA’s goal of reducing nonpoint pollution in the Gulf of Mexico.


For more information, or technical support with your application, please contact the NASDA Foundation-EPA Historically Underserved Farmers Grant Program Support Team at or (571) 418-6426.