National Sheep Industry Improvement Program Grant

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC)

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Grant amount: Approximately US $29,000

Deadline: Sep 15, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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The primary objective of the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program( SPMGP) is to fund a number of projects determined by industry leaders to be priorities for benefiting the sheep industry. 

The Center was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.  As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Center was awarded funding by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to be used for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program.  Grant funding can be used on activities designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development, and market and environmental research.  Currently, the Center has budgeted approximately $300,000 for grants that will support projects consistent with the grant program.  The average grant amount over the last four years has been $27,200.

Financial assistance provided by the Center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
  • Strengthen and improve long-term sustainability of the lamb and wool industry's infrastructure by increasing the numbers in production.
  • Provide integration of performance/production data from sources that can help enhance the National Sheep Improvement Program.
  • Provide leadership training and education to producers and packers within the sheep industry.
  • Enhance sheep production by improving infrastructure of the U.S. sheep industry through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep milk, meat, fiber and related services such as grazing for fire management and pasture improvements.
  • Promote lamb marketing through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
  • Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the international industry community.

    The nine-member board is composed of seven voting and two non-voting members. Voting members include four domestic producers of sheep or goats, two members with expertise in finance and management, and one member with expertise in lamb, wool, goat, or goat product marketing.  Non-voting members include the USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.  The board will review each proposal, recommend funding, and submit final recommendations to AMS for approval.

    You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


    • An eligible entity means any entity that promotes the betterment of the U.S. sheep industries including LLC's, partnerships, corporations, cooperative organizations, associations, a federally recognized Indian Tribes and public or quasi-public agencies.
      • The entity may be operated as a for-profit or a not-for-profit entity. 
      • Applicant must have credentials demonstrating expertise in project content.  
    • The eligible overhead limit is 7.5% of the total award.
    • Eligible grant purposes:
      • Grant purposes must be consistent with the statutory purposes of the Center and the goals stated in the strategic plan
      • Grants will be used to contribute to:
        • basic production research and efforts to commercialize new services and products;
        • new processes that can be utilized in the production of sheep products, and
        • new enterprises or cooperatives that can add value to sheep products through processing or marketing. 
      • They include but are not limited to the following:
        • Contributions to production research such as: sheep disease prevention and control; predator control, and genetic and reproductive performance.
        • Technology research, investigations, and basic feasibility studies in any field or discipline for the purpose of generating principles, facts, technical knowledge, new technology, or other information that may be useful to the sheep industry in the development and commercialization of new products, processes, or services.
        • The collection, interpretation, and dissemination of principles, facts, technical knowledge, new technology, or other information that may be useful to the sheep industry in the development and commercialization of new products, processes, or services.
        • Providing grants to small businesses and cooperatives for purposes of generating, evaluating, developing, and commercializing new products, processes, or services.
        • Matching funds to Federal, State or private projects where the primary purpose is to enhance the production or marketing of sheep products. 
        • Start-up capital to new eligible producers of sheep.
        • Sponsoring of special industry meetings, seminars, or workshops.


    • Preference will be given to projects whose purposes will serve to further the Center's stated goals of:
      • making capital available for increasing production or improving production efficiency;
      • improving marketing efficiency or product quality;
      • promoting coordination;
      • enhancing communication; and
      • ensuring the continued viability of the Center.
    • Matching funds are not required. However, applicants that verify the availability of matching funds are awarded 10 points when the grants are being scored by the Board. 


    • Applications submitted by an individual are not allowed. 
    • Grant funds may not be used to:
      • Pay more than 50 percent of project costs except as expressly approved by the Board.
      • Pay more than 7.5 percent of the award for overhead.
      • Duplicate research in progress or completed.
      • Pay costs of preparing the application package for funding under this program.
      • Pay costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant made.
      • Fund political activities.
      • Fund any activity that does not benefit the sheep industry.