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 awarded between $550,000 and $600,000 in the 2023 grant round. The maximum grant award available to a farmer, individual, business (e.g., LLC) or non-profit organization was $20,000. 

LASA 2023 grantees: View press release

2023 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 small or beginning agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishers.
  • Support agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishers that are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • Support the development of new marketing, promotion, sales, and/or distribution channels.
  • Support the development of new products, including value-added processing capacity.
  • Foster new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishers and supporting organizations.
  • Fosters and builds capacity for markets connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food-insecure communities.
  • Protect the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation.
  • Assistance with on-farm Food Safety improvements assistance, including the development of FSMA and HACCP Standard

This grant round is closed. Check back for updates!

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).

Ineligible activities include non-project related travel, scholarships, general operating funds, on-going capital campaigns, political or policy advocacy campaigns, conference/workshop attendance fees, etc.

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 may be up to 15 months in duration. Grantees are responsible for interim and final reports. Interim reports are due on December 1, 2023, and final reports are due on June 30, 2024. Any grantees who do not provide timely interim and final grant reports will be ineligible for future LASA Grant Program funding.

Technical Assistance will be offered via a webinar hosted by the Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC). The webinar will take place on Monday, October 24th from 3:30-5pm via Zoom (sign-up here) 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 15, 2022
Applications due: November 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM
Awards announced: February 2023, View Press Release
Grant Agreement Execution: April 2023
Grant End Date: June 30, 2023
Final Report Due: June 30, 2024

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