Agriculture Innovation Center Demonstration Program


The purpose of this program is to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers that provide technical assistance and services to agricultural producers to help them develop and market value-added agricultural products.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
This Act amends the eligibility requirements, removes the requirement to conduct research on the effects of the program on the agricultural sector, and removes the requirement to submit a report to Congress., Title Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Part Title VII, Subtitle F, Section 7608, Public Law 116th-Pub. L. 116-6, Agriculture Innovation Center Demonstration Program U.S.C. 7 U.S.C. 1632b
This program is authorized through the Farm Bill, but funds are appropriated using the annual appropriations law.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Not applicable.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Agricultural producers, farmers, ranchers, and other businesses that produce or market value-added agricultural products may apply for assistance directly from recipients.
Applicants must verify their legal status and demonstrate their eligibility for the program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants must submit an application through using the requirements published in a NOFO.
Award Procedure
Applications will be ranked based on the points scored for the evaluation criteria. Applications will be funded in rank order until available funds are expended. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency's discretion.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days.
From 30 to 60 days.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Applications will first be reviewed for eligibility for funding. Applications determined to be eligible will be evaluated based on the criteria published in the NOFO.
How may assistance be used?
Award funds may be used only to provide the following services directly to agricultural producers for the purpose of producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product: • Financial advisory services related to the development, expansion, or operation of a business owned by an agricultural producer(s) that will produce a value-added agricultural product, as long as the assistance is not to support forming a joint marketing effort by a group of producers, such as a farmers market, roadside stand, community-supported agriculture, and online sales • Process development services, including: • Engineering services, including scale-up of production systems (not to include cost of renovating or constructing a facility or system) • Scale production assessments, defined as studies that analyze facilities, including processing facilities, for potential value-added activities to determine the size that optimizes construction and other cost efficiencies • Systems development • Other technical assistance and applied research related to development, implementation, improvement and operations of processes and systems to produce and market a value-added agricultural product • Organizational assistance, including legal and technical advisory services related to the development, expansion, or operation of a business owned by an agricultural producer(s) that will produce a value-added agricultural product, as long as this assistance is not provided to support forming a joint marketing effort of food and food products by a group of producers, such as a farmers market, roadside stand, community-supported agriculture, and online sales • Outreach assistance, limited to assistance with connecting an agricultural producer to a distribution system, processing facility, or commercial kitchen • Technical assistance for product development (excluding R&D), where product development has the following definition: stages involved in bringing a product from idea or concept through commercial-scale production, including concept testing, feasibility and cost analysis, product taste-testing, demographic and other types of consumer analysis, production analysis, and evaluation of packaging and labeling options • Costs associated with establishing and operating a Center, such as legal services, accounting services, clerical assistance, technical services, hiring employees, monitoring contracts, and Board of Director travel • Grants of $5,000 or less to agricultural producers for the above services, where the aggregate amount of all such matching grants made by the Center does not exceed $50,000.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Recipients must submit a Performance Report on a quarterly basis within 30 calendar days of the end of the quarter. The quarters end on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. A final Performance Report is due within 90 calendar days of the end of the period of performance or the completion of the project, whichever comes earliest.
Not applicable.
Financial records, supporting documents (including any deliverables or work products), statistical records, and all other records must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final financial report. See 2 CFR 200.333 for additional information.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title 7 Part 4284 Subpart K Public Law 115.334

Matching is mandatory. Recipients must provide one-third of the project funds as matching funds. Matching funds may be provided in cash by the recipient or a third-party or as in-kind from a third-party.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funding is available until expended. Funds may be awarded for projects up to two years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Any USDA Rural Development State or Area Office may be contacted about this listing. Contact information is available at:
Headquarters Office
Gail Thuner
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 4208-South
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: 202-690-2426
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$3,000,000.00; FY 23 est $11,005,620.00; FY 24 est $3,000,000.00; FY 21 est $3,000,000.00; FY 20$6,500,000.00; FY 19$3,500,000.00; FY 18$1,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Minimum: $400,000 Maximum: $1,000,000 Average: $730,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 4284 Subparts A and K
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources