Acting Pa. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has announced $200,000 in grants to three agriculture nonprofits to fund projects aimed at growing fiber and food hemp markets, sales, and awareness in Pennsylvania. Redding also called for proposals from marketing and promotion non-profits for an additional $392,000 in grants to be awarded in March 2023.
“Hemp has offered a rare opportunity to grow a Pennsylvania industry from the ground up, springing from a material with seemingly limitless uses in sustainable construction materials, fiber and food products,” Redding said.
“These grants will boost an industry that was once a staple of Pennsylvania’s economy and is again presenting opportunities for new businesses, farm income, jobs, and climate-friendly, environmentally sound products.”
Grant recipients, region served, matching funding amounts, and project descriptions:
Urban Affairs Coalition and All Together Now Pennsylvania – statewide partnership – $48,000
Pennsylvania Hemp Now – an innovative program to promote hemp in building materials and textiles.
Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council – Berks, Chester, Lehigh counties – $150,000
Project Invest in PA Hemp – represents six companies coming together to attract investment in industrial hemp producers, agribusinesses, and entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania to grow supply chains, product development and distribution.
Transition Town Media – Delaware and Schuylkill counties – $2,000
Promoting Hemp as a Transitional Product to Next Generation Economy – aims to promote the benefits of hemp and raise awareness to make hemp a household word.
For new proposals, the department plans to award $392,00 in matching funds to reimburse up to half of the project costs, with a minimum grant amount of $1,000.
Special consideration will go to projects that leverage other funding and public-private partnerships. Eligible projects may include regional or national promotion.
Applicants will be selected in a competitive process.
Qualified nonprofits may apply for grants through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s single online application system. The application period closes Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. and grant recipients will be notified by Friday, March 10, 2023.
These matching grants are just one way Pennsylvania has fed growth in the new hemp industry, creating Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block grants through the historic PA Farm Bill when federal funding for hemp was not yet available, funding key R&D through state higher ed institutions, and convening the PA Hemp Steering Committee to foster relationships among colleges and university researchers, growers, processors, investors, and insurers to grow opportunities. The department’s hemp-specific grant investments to date have topped $1.12 million.
For information about hemp in Pennsylvania, visit: www.agriculture.pa.gov/hemp, and for more on grants and initiatives to grow or start your PA agriculture business visit: www.agriculture.pa.gov.farmbill.
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