Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Grants Program

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 $250,000 in grants in the 2020-2021 grant round. Funds for this round have been provided from the State of Rhode Island. View Press Release

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.

Grant Program Eligibility

Applicants must be based in the State of Rhode Island. Eligible entities include for-profit farmers, fishermen/women, producer groups, and non-profit organizations however only small and/or beginning farmers, or producer groups of small or beginning farmers, and aquaculture operators are eligible to apply for capital grants

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 24 months in duration. Grantees are responsible for interim and final reports. Interim reports are due after 1 year and final reports are due after 2 years from signing of grant agreement. Any grantees who do not provide timely interim and final grant reports will be ineligible for future LASA Grant Program funding.

Funding Priorities

The LASA Advisory Committee sets priorities each grant year and makes recommendations to the Director of the RIDEM. Project priorities for the 2020-2021 LASA Grants Program are:

  • Supporting the entry, growth, and/or sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers (including aquaculture producers) and fishermen/women. Additionally, supporting farmers and fishers that are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • AND/OR Support the entry, growth, and/or sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers
  • AND/OR Foster new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island producers and producer-supporting organizations.
  • AND/OR Support capacity building for new products or new sales channels with clearly defined markets, assistance with farmers/ fishers adapting to new methods of selling to customers (online, home delivery, shipping), diversification of market channels and development of more on farm processing capacity.
  • AND/OR Protect the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation.
  • AND/OR Assistance with on farm Food Safety improvements assistance, including the developing of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Food Safety Plans and compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
  • AND/OR Foster and build capacity for markets connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food insecure communities.

2020-2021 Program Timeline:

Request for Applications Released: April 15, 2021
Applications due: June 13, 2021 at 11:59 PM
Awards announced: September 1, 2021
Grant Agreement Execution: Fall 2021
Grant End Date: Fall 2023
Final Report Due: Fall 2023

Grant-related questions should be directed to Ananda Fraser, Chief Program Development in DEM’s Division of Agriculture at 222-2781, ext. 72411 or via email to Ananda.Fraser@dem.ri.gov

Previous LASA Grant Awards