NMDA announces two grant programs to expand New Mexico agriculture

Staff will explain grant programs, show how to apply for funding during March 17 and 23 workshops

For immediate release: Feb. 11, 2015

Media contact:
Katie Goetz, Public Information Officer
575-646-2804 office

(LAS CRUCES, NM) – New Mexicans involved in agricultural production are invited to apply to New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) for funding through one of two grant programs.

Both programs are intended to develop or expand markets for agricultural products grown in New Mexico.  Where they differ is in their respective details.

The first is called the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Specialty Crops), which is funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  NMDA serves as fiscal agent for New Mexico’s share of the federal funding.

“Pecans, chile, onions, greenhouse/nursery crops, pinto beans, honey – 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, a marketing specialist at NMDA who administers New Mexico’s share of the federal funds.  See USDA’s definition and list of specialty crops.

Funding per Specialty Crops project typically ranges from $20,000 to $75,000, but there is no cap.  Project length varies from one to three years.  The deadline to apply for funding through the Specialty Crops program is April 20, 2015.  Funding is expected to become available on October 1, 2015.

The second program is called New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds (ADPF).  Unlike the Specialty Crops program, ADPF places no restrictions on the type of agricultural commodity that can benefit.  Another difference is that ADPF projects must be completed within one year.

Funding per ADPF project typically ranges from $500 to $10,000 for individual applicants and up to $30,000 for groups working on a joint initiative.  The deadline to apply for funding through the ADPF is May 1, 2015.  Funding is expected to become available July 1, 2015.

For both grant programs, Frost said projects are given stronger consideration when they have what it takes to succeed beyond the life of the grant – in other words, projects that make good long-term business sense.

Both programs prohibit the use of grant funds to purchase land, buildings, equipment, or any other type of capital improvement.  Also, for both programs grantees are paid on a reimbursement basis; funds are released only after the grantee has submitted 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 both grant programs and how to apply for them:

  • Las Cruces:  March 17 from 2 to 4 p.m., NMDA (Conference Room), 3190 South Espina Street
  • Santa Fe:  March 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hotel Santa Fe (Hacienda Meeting Room), 1501 Paseo de Peralta

For more information on either grant program or the workshops, call 575‑646-4929.