National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – Small Business Programs

USDA NIFA has now released the FY23 SBIR/STTR Phase 1 RFA.

The SBIR program supports US-based small businesses solving issues (with commercial potential) related to food and agriculture. This program has and continues to support an Aquaculture priority area (SBIR 8.7).

Here are the links to information and to the application package on grants.gov:

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Phase I | National Institute of Food and Agriculture (usda.gov)

View Opportunity | GRANTS.GOV

Please share the RFA links with any interested parties and let any and all know that if they are interested in applying they can email me at timothy.sullivan@usda.gov and I will provide them with all requisite information.

Thanks in advance for your help in growing the USDA NIFA SBIR 8.7 program area priority!

Tim

Tim Sullivan, National Program Leader, Animal Health and Aquaculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Invitation to Webinar Regarding New Aquaculture Lease Applications: Criteria for Public Interest Determination, on July 12, 2022

Dear Members of the California Ocean Community, 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) and California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) staff invite interested stakeholders participate in a public workshop series related to developing potential criteria for Commission use when determining if individual proposed new state water bottom leases for aquaculture are in the public interest.

An introductory webinar will be held via Zoom, July 12, 2022 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. At the introductory webinar, the Department will present an overview of initial draft criteria and answer questions; the public will have the opportunity to provide input on the initial draft criteria during the Commission’s Marine Resources Committee meeting later that week and at subsequent workshop(s) (see below). 

This effort to define criteria by which the Commission will make its determination of whether each new aquaculture lease application should be further considered is being facilitated by the Marine Resources Committee, where full public discussion and written comment is encouraged. The Marine Resources Committee will next meet on July 14, 2022 in Santa Rosa and via webinar/teleconference.

Additional information and background context on this effort, as well as meeting and support materials, are available at the Department’s Aquaculture webpage, including background materials and the initial draft criteria.

Materials and information on how to join the July 12 webinar will be posted to the Commission’s meetings page early next week, at https://fgc.ca.gov/Meetings/2022.  Webinar Registration please select: Registration.

The next installment of the workshop series is expected to occur later this summer or early fall, for stakeholder input on revised draft criteria once it is prepared. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at: AquacultureCoord@wildlife.ca.gov or FGC@fgc.ca.gov.

We look forward to your participation.

Thank you,

Randy Lovell
State Aquaculture Coordinator
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife

Melissa Miller-Henson
Executive Director
CA Fish and Game Commission

Provide Your Feedback on NOAA’s Draft Aquaculture Strategic Plan

Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Mandy Lindeberg
NOAA is seeking public comment on its draft aquaculture strategic plan. Join us for a one-hour session to help shape this important document. Click on a date and time below to register:

Session 1: Wednesday, June 22, 1:00 p.m. ET
Session 2: Wednesday, June 22, 6:30 p.m. ET
Session 3: Friday, June 24, 2:00 p.m. ET

These sessions are hosted by NOAA and will consist of a brief presentation, followed by public comments (three-minute time allotment per comment) for the remainder of the hour. Please register in advance.

During each meeting, NOAA staff will provide an overview of the contents of the draft aquaculture strategic plan, discuss next steps, and receive related feedback from the public. Each session will be recorded.

Public meetings ensure an inclusive and transparent process as NOAA works to expand sustainable aquaculture in the United States. Your comments are valued as we continue to refine our aquaculture mission and vision.

To view the draft strategic plan, visit this page. If you have any questions, please contact nmfs.aquaculture.info@noaa.gov.

United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership

The AADAP program, which is a part of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation program (USFWS-FAC), is the only program in the U.S. singularly dedicated to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of new drugs needed for use in fish culture and fisheries management. AADAP is comprised of four sub-programs: the National Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD), Research, New Animal Drug Approval (NADA), and Outreach programs. Together these programs provide fish culturists and fish health professionals with legal access to a variety of aquaculture drugs currently in the drug approval process, evaluate the safety and efficacy of aquaculture drugs, assist drug sponsors in navigating the new animal drug approval process, and provide fisheries professionals with up-to-date information about existing and pending drug approvals, as well as extensive drug use guidance information. We are a partner-based organization and couldn’t accomplish our mission without the support of our colleagues in the field.

AADAP sends out a monthly news bulletin via an email listserv. These bulletins contain updates about aquaculture drugs currently in the approval process, AADAP programmatic updates, and aquaculture drug use guidance information. If you would like to sign up to receive the AADAP Update, please email Julie Schroeter to be added to our email list.

2021 Humboldt Bay Symposium: Sustainable Blue Economy

Symposium Overview

The 2021 Humboldt Bay Symposium will be webcast via Zoom on September 28-30. A long-standing local tradition, the Symposium is a community-oriented conference and provides a unique opportunity for the general public to engage directly with scientists, managers, and local experts. It is a forum for learning about the latest developments on a variety of current issues related to the Humboldt Bay region including research and restoration of coastal ecosystems, economic development, and sustainable use and recreation. 

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Application Now Open for SOAR Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund

Photo from NOAA Fisheries

The SOAR Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund aims to pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable U.S. shellfish industry that benefits the ocean and the communities which rely upon it.

The fund offers small awards (up to $20,000) targeted toward shellfish growers, and large awards (up to $100,000) to address systemic issues facing the shellfish industry.

The small and large funding tracks have different eligibility requirements, application and reporting requirements, priorities, and deadlines. For full details and to apply, visit the resiliency fund website. If you have any questions, please contact SOAR Program Coordinator Christina Popolizio (c.d.popolizio@tnc.org).

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extended to May 31, 2021

By California Aquaculture Association

As President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law on March 30, 2021, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021, and then providing an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said:

“President Biden sent another strong message to America’s more than 30 million small business owners negatively impacted by the pandemic: help is here. By signing the PPP Extension Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act into law, the President is providing additional critical relief to the smallest of the small businesses – the mom-and-pop shops that line our Main Streets and keep our local and regional economies going.

“The leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, working with leaders of the House Small Business Committee, Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez, and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Young Kim, and Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Susan Collins, ensured a strong bipartisan vote to extend this critical relief to hard-hit small businesses. More than 8.2 million PPP loans have provided struggling small businesses with the relief they need to keep workers employed and make ends meets during this pandemic. The SBA remains dedicated to reaching the heart and soul of the nation’s urban, rural, and low-income communities – the smallest businesses – and removing barriers to access this vital relief.” 

Learn more about PPP

US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA), will accept new and modified Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA), will accept new and modified CFAP 2 applications beginning April 5, 2021. 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin providing additional financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and producers impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Resources for these payments were approved by Congress in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

The original application period for CFAP 2 was September 21 through December 11, 2020. USDA will reopen CFAP 2 signup for all eligible producers beginning April 5, 2021. A deadline for signup will be announced at a later date. Learn more at farmers.gov/cfap

Aquaculture Eligibility

Aquaculture eligible for CFAP 2 includes: any species of aquatic organisms grown as food for human consumption, fish raised as feed for fish that are consumed by humans, and ornamental fish propagated and reared in an aquatic medium. Eligible aquaculture species must be raised by a commercial operator and in water in a controlled environment. This includes molluscan shellfish and seaweed that was previously covered under the U.S. Department of Commerce program.

Eligible sales only include sales of raw commodities grown by the producer. The portion of sales derived from adding value to the commodity, such as processing and packaging, and from sales of products purchased for resale is not included in the payment calculation.

CFAP 2 payments are available for eligible producers of aquaculture commodities, which are categorized as sales commodities. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers of eligible commodities are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

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Identified Gaps in Previous Aid, USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably

Press Release Release No. 0056.21

Contact: USDA Press
Email: press@usda.gov

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.

USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers was needed, said Vilsack, after a review of previous COVID-19 assistance programs targeting farmers identified a number of gaps and disparities in how assistance was distributed as well as inadequate outreach to underserved producers and smaller and medium operations.

“The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible,” said Vilsack. “Our new USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative will help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to socially disadvantaged communities, small and medium sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops.”

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Update: California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) are happy to announce there were over 300,000 applications successfully completed during Round 1 of the California Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program.

Starting Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 8:00 am PST Lendistry will open Round 2 for all small businesses and nonprofits to apply.

Round 1 applicants who did not receive funds DO NOT need to reapply. Your application was waitlisted and automatically rolled over for consideration in Round 2.

For new applicants in Round 2, please mark these dates and times on your calendar:

Round 2 opens Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:00 am PST
Round 2 closes on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm PST
Notification about selection: February 11 – 18, 2021
Notification about Not selected: February 24, 2021

Before you apply: WATCH VIDEOS ON THE APPLICATION PROCESS To help you with the application process, Lendistry has prepared short videos that walk you through each step. To watch these videos, click here. We will continuously update this page with more videos in multiple languages.

REVIEW THE PROGRAM AND APPLICATION GUIDE The Program and Application Guide details the entire application process, step-by-step, and provides tips on how to improve your application experience. It also includes screenshots of the application and Portal to help you familiarize yourself with the process. To view the Program and Application Guide, click here.

DAILY WEBINARS Partners are conducting daily webinars that go over the program, application, and step-by-step instruction to complete the application. To view the calendar of daily webinars and access links, click here

PREPARE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS Review Section 8: Required Documents under “Program Overview” in the application guide for a list of required documents for the grant. The guide also provides tips and resources to help you properly scan your documents for upload. See Tip #3: Scan Your Documents Properly under “Tips for Applying”.

FIND AND APPLY THROUGH A PARTNER To apply for a grant, you will need to do so through a partner. You can find a partner by language or by county at www.CAReliefGrant.com. Please apply once and through one partner only.

Additional Application Tips: A partner to the program or the Lendistry team can help you navigate the process. Lendistry’s call center is available at 888.612.4370. Call Center times starting February 2nd are as follows:

7am – 11pm weekdays
8am – 12pm Saturdays
Last day until 8pm

For partner assistance, please contact the partner in which you started or submitted your application with.

You can find an application certification here for for-profits and here for non-profits.  

The application process is NOT first-come, first-serve. You have within the time frame listed above to apply.