Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Grants Program

Previous LASA grant awardees

The LASA Grant Program provides grants that directly benefit and strengthen the local food system in Rhode Island. The program was established by the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) of 2012 via an innovative public-private partnership between the state and three private foundations — the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and the Rhode Island Foundation. Currently, the program is made possible by funding from the State of Rhode Island. The goal of the LASA grant program is to support the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island.

Grant Award Amounts

The RIDEM Division of Agriculture will award up to $650,000 in grant awards this round. The maximum grant award available to a farmer, individual, business (e.g., LLC) or non-profit organization is $20,000. Overhead and/or administrative costs are limited to 10% of total budget proposal.

2024 Funding Priorities

The LASA Advisory Committee sets priorities each grant year and makes recommendations to the Director of the RIDEM. Applicants are required to fulfill at least one (not all) of the funding priorities listed below.

  • Support the entry, growth, and/or sustainability of Socially Disadvantaged, BeginningSmall, Women, and veteran agriculture and aquaculture producers and fishers

  • Support climate-smart agriculture mitigation activities and Climate Change related adaptations throughout the local Food System. 

  • Support the development of new marketing, promotion, sales, and/or distribution channels, including connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food insecure communities.

  • Support the development of new products, including value added processing capacity.

  • Foster new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island agriculture and aquaculture producers, and fishers and supporting organizations.

  • Protect the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation.

  • Assist with on farm Food Safety improvements including FSMA and HACCP Compliance


For-profit farmers, fishermen/women, and producer groups are eligible to apply as are non-profit organizations. Applicants must be based in the State of Rhode Island. The Advisory Committee will value geographic diversity in the applicant pool when making award determinations. Only small and/or beginning farmers, or producer groups of small or beginning farmers, are eligible to apply for capital grants. (Aquaculture operators are considered farmers in this regard).

All costs associated with developing or submitting a proposal in response to this request, or with providing oral or written clarification of proposal content, are ineligible expenses and shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant. The State assumes no responsibility for these costs.


Projects/programs must serve at least one of the following purposes in order to be eligible for funding through the LASA Grants Program:

  1. Assist in the marketing of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood1 for the purpose of sale and promotion.
  2. Enhance the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood.
  3. Provide financial and technical assistance support to organizations and producers for activities and programs which enhance the economic viability of local agriculture, and support the development of a locally based, safe and sustainable food system.
  4. Perform other activities necessary to facilitate the success and viability of the state’s agricultural and seafood sectors.

In addition to providing grants for projects or programs, the LASA Grant Program may also provide capital grants to small or beginning Rhode Island farmers and aquaculture producers to support the growth and sustainability of Rhode Island’s farming and aquaculture industries.


  • Applications that fail to demonstrate at least one of the program purposes
  • Applications for completed projects for which the applicant seeks reimbursement
  • Applicants out of compliance with any federal, state, or local laws or regulations
  • Applicants who have previously received LASA Grants and failed to meet reporting obligations
  • Applicants not engaged in local agriculture, aquaculture, or local seafood
  • Applicants who failed to meet requirements for previous Department grants and/or assistance programs, or from individuals or groups unable to perform or currently experiencing performance issues with previous Department grant obligations
  • Ineligible Project activities include non-project related travel, scholarships, general operating funds, on-going capital campaigns, political or policy advocacy campaigns, conference/workshop attendance fees, etc.
  • Capital grants from fishermen/women are not eligible for LASA funding due to the originating legislation.
1. For the purposes of the LASA Grant, local seafood will be defined as product landed in Rhode Island.
  1. Ocean State Procurement Portal registration: https://ridop.ri.gov/ocean-state-procures-osp
  2. Finished Application in the GMS System
  3. Filled out budget template in eCivis GMS
  4. Necessary supporting documents (Lease agreements etc.)

Technical Assistance will be offered via a webinar hosted by the Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC). You can register here [us02web.zoom.us]. The webinar will take place on Monday, October 23rd from 3:30-5pm via Zoom and made available on both the RI DEM and RIFPC websites.

Additional one-on-one technical assistance will be provided by RIFPC. To request assistance, you can fill out this form. You may also contact Maggie Longo at lasahelp@rifoodcouncil.org or 401-490-5687.

Request Technical Assistance

Request for Applications Released: October 1, 2023

Applications due: November 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM

Awards announced: March 2024

Grant Agreement Execution: April 2024

Grant End Date: June 30, 2024

Interim Reports Due: June 30, 2025

Final Report Due: August 31, 2026

Grant-related questions should be directed to DEM.LASA@dem.ri.gov or (401) 222-2781. Division of Agriculture staff are available to assist you during State of Rhode Island business hours, Monday– Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Assistance may not be available shortly before deadlines.


Previous LASA Grant Awards