Regional Food System Partnerships


RFSP is a component of the Local Agricultural Marketing Program (LAMP). RFSP supports partnerships that brings together public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems and encourages food economy viability and resilience. Through RFSP, AMS works together with partners to accelerate local or regional food system growth through increased access to local knowledge and networks. Partners will lead the scope determination of the regional food system to be developed, including goals, outreach objectives, and eligible activities to be carried out, while coordinating with AMS to receive technical and financial assistance.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Agricuture Improvement Act of 2018, Section 10102, Public Law 115-334, 7 U.S.C. 1621
Subtitle A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applications can be submitted by an eligible entity or eligible partner. An application must have at least one eligible entity and eligible partner to be considered for funding. Eligible entities include producers; producer networks or associations; farmer or rancher cooperatives; majority-controlled producer-based business ventures; food councils; local or Tribal governments; nonprofit corporations; economic development corporations; public benefit corporations; community-supported agriculture networks or associations; and regional farmers' market authorities. Eligible partners include State agencies or regional authorities; philanthropic organizations; private corporations; institution of higher educations; and commercial, Federal, or Farm Credit System lending institutions. Projects and applicants must be owned, operated, and located within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Projects that benefit producers, local and regional food business enterprises, and consumers.
A grant agreement is entered into between the AMS and the eligible entity that submits the application. OMB Guidance for Grants Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR SS 200 and 2 CFR SS 400 applies to this program. 2 CFR SS 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. 2 CFR ยง 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. AMS only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via in response to specific RFA. Please refer to the RFA for further details for submitting applications. The most current RFAs are available at Any specific instructions in the RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
AMS outlines the application requirements and merit review process in each grant program's RFA. Applicants are required to use the RFA to apply for grant funds. After the application deadline has passed, AMS begins a three-step process to evaluate each application submitted to the grant program and select applications for funding. Grant agreements are established with applicants based on the results of this three-step process to ensure compliance with requirement that Federal awarding agencies maintain a fair, unbiased merit review process in selecting competitively awarded grants. The Initial Qualification Screening is Step 1. In this step, the application is reviewed to ensure that they met the RFA's basic requirements. Applications that met these basic requirements moved forward to Step 2. Step 2 is the Competitive Review. Applications are evaluated by panels of external peer reviewers. Selected reviewers have diverse expertise representing various entities with programmatic knowledge. To eliminate bias, AMS assigns applications to reviewers outside of their own geographic areas and avoid project assignments associated with reviewer businesses. Each reviewer also signs a conflict of interest and confidentiality agreement. Reviewers that indicate a real or perceived conflict do not review the affected application(s) and are removed from those application discussions. The panels analyze each application using the RFA's evaluation criteria and instructions prepared by AMS. Individual reviewers evaluate and score their assigned applications and then confer with their team to derive a consensus review. The consensus review serves as the basis for awarding grant funds and focuses on the applications' strengths and weaknesses. The third step is the Administrative Review (Step 3). AMS conducts a final administrative evaluation of each application in the review panels' top rankings and recommendations. In addition to the applications' scores, each award is reviewed to ensure that the recommended applications align with the grant program's statutory purpose and that the budget items were allowable and necessary. AMS also assesses the applicants' ability to account for the use of Federal funds and monitor the performance associated with these monies. Non-competitive grant programs implemented by AMS are limited to Step 3 in the application review process.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days. Eligible applicants should contact the headquarters office for application deadlines. Annual application deadlines are posted in More information can be found at
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Criteria for selecting proposals are within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFA. The most current RFA is available via or
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used to plan and develop local or regional food systems and encourages food economy viability and resilience.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Annual performance and financial reports are required. A final performance and financial report are required within 90 days after the expiration date of the grant period. See for more information.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR SS 200.503 For each year that a State receives a grant under this section, the State shall conduct an audit of the expenditures of grant funds by the State in accordance with 2 CFR SS 200, Subpart F- Audit Requirements. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Recipients must retain financial and other records relating to grant for a period of three years after the final Federal Financial Report (SF-425) is received by AMS or until final resolution of any audit findings or litigation claims relating to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 25%. 25% cash match of the Federal portion of the grant. Additional cash match is encouraged.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Applicants have 3 calendar years to use the funds. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: See for grant agreement award terms and conditions to obtain information on how assistance is awarded/released.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
USDA Regional Food Systems Parterships
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: 2026901300
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 18 FY 19 est $5,000,000.00; FY 20 est $5,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
See Request for Applications for more information.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
An RFA is announced each fiscal year via Additional information about this program is available at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources