Funding Opportunities

Click here for a listing of existing and past funding announcements.

There are many sources of funding available to Indian tribes, tribal food producers, and other tribal organizations.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the largest and most extensive source of funding and assistance.  USDA is divided into several different agencies that focus on various areas.  Many but not all of these agencies funding sources and announcements are found on  Contacting your local USDA office is the first step in accessing NRCS, FSA, and oftentimes Rural Development funding, and you can click this link to find your local office.  The most relevant to tribes include:

  • NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service)
  • FSA (Farm Service Agency)
  • Rural Development (RD)
  • NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)
  • RMA (Risk Management Agency)
  • NASS (National Agricultural Census Bureau)
  • APHIS (Animal Plant Inspection Service)
  • FNS (Food and Nutrition Service)
  • FS (Forest Service)

SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) is one source of USDA funding that technically falls under NIFA but deserves special mention because it provides smaller sources of funding that require less paperwork and are oftentimes more accessible to smaller tribal ag. operations and educators.  Each state has its own SARE coordinator, and all of the states are part of larger regional SARE groups.

Non-USDA sources of federal funding include the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs), IHS (Indian Health Service), US Fish and Wildlife Service, SBA (Small Business Administration), to name a few of the more pertinent sources.

State governments may provide some additional funding through their respective agriculture, natural resources, and health departments.

Tribal and private foundations may provide additional funding opportunities. First Nation Development Institute’s Native American Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI) is a great funding source that can address needs not covered by many USDA programs, and their Native Youth & Culture Fund can be used for a variety of youth-related projects.  The application process for both these funding opportunities is competitive.


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