Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program


The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture, is accepting grant applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant Program. The goal of the program, established by Section 1001(b)(4) of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 (Pub. L. 117— 2), is to award grants to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. The Department will administer approximately $1,500,000 in Infrastructure and Equipment grants during this grant round.

The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) aims to develop and administer grant awards to build resilience across the middle of the state’s food supply chain for food crops. Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry. 

RFSI grants are available to:

  • Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors
  • Nonprofit organizations operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, and distribution of targeted agricultural products
  • Local government entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, and distribution of targeted agricultural products
  • Tribal governments operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, and distribution of targeted agricultural products.
  • Institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals bringing producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure or invest in equipment that will benefit multiple producers’ middle-of-the-supply

All applicant businesses and organizations must be domestically owned, and applicants’ facilities must be physically located within the borders of Rhode Island.

Request for Applications Released: November 1, 2023
Applications due: January 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM


All applications must be submitted via the State of Rhode Island Grant Management System (eCivis). RIFPC is offering
no-cost, individualized assistance to individuals and organizations with your applications, thanks to funding provided by RI DEM. 

To get support, contact Maggie Longo:



Answer a few questions to get started.


Review these resources to learn more about how LASA has helped transform our local food system.


We hosted a 40-minute virtual learning session on Monday, October 23 to help potential applicants better understand how to submit applications with the greatest chance of getting an award.


What items do I need to create my application?

  • A brief summary of the mission, goals, history, programs, and major accomplishments, success stories and qualifications as mandated by R.I. Gen. Laws § 2-25-7, including eligibility for funding
  • A brief description of the proposed project or program, including the capacity to carry out the program and who will benefit 
  • A description of the expected outcomes and the indicators/how you will measure those outcomes; 
  • A timeline to be used in the implementation of the program or project 
  • A program or project budget. 

    What types of activities are eligible?

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

    • Assist in the marketing of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood for the purpose of sale and promotion.
    • Enhance the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island grown agricultural products and local seafood.
    • Provide financial and technical assistance and/or 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.
    • 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.

    What are examples of INELIGIBLE PROJECTS?

    • 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 fishers are not eligible for LASA funding due to the originating legislation.

    How much can an applicant apply for?

    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

    Who is eligible to apply?

    •  For-profit farmers, fishers, and producer groups
    • 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 groups of small or beginning farmers, are eligible to apply for capital grants (Aquaculture operators are considered farmers in this regard)

    Where can I find the application?

    What other technical assistance is available?

    • A stored version of this year’s support webinar will be made available on RI DEM and RIFPC websites
    • Previous year’s Q&A session questions are available on the RIFPC website
    • Limited one-on-one technical assistance in completing an application is available from the RI Food Policy Council. Those interested can register here.

    How is the Grant Scored? 

     A scoring rubric is available on the RI DEM and RIFPC websites

    Scoring is weighted as follows:

    • Is the project technically feasible based on background? Is the applicant a for-profit farm, fishery, or other food business?  (20 points)
    •  Outcomes (10 points)
    •  Regulatory/Zoning/Legal Information (5 points)
    • Budget (15 points)

    “Thank you to the entire RI Food Policy Council team for the effective and persistent advocacy for LASA and other related food system programs. The [2022] budget recommendation of $700K for LASA is no doubt an outcome of such.”

    Ken Ayars

    Chief, Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment
    Department of Environmental Management