Pennsylvania officials have awarded $200,000 in grants to three agriculture nonprofits to fund projects aimed at growing fiber and food hemp markets, and are calling for proposals from marketing and promotion nonprofits for an additional $392,000 in grants to be awarded in March.
Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said the 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.”
“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 in a press release
The state awarded the grants to:
- 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 benefits of hemp and raise awareness make hemp a household word.
For new proposals, the Agriculture Department plans to award $392,00 in matching funds to reimburse up to half of project costs, with a minimum grant amount of $1,000. Special consideration will go to projects that leverage other funding and public-private partnerships and eligible projects may include regional or national promotion.
Qualified organizations may apply for grants through the state Department of Community and Economic Development online application system. The application period closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, and recipients will be notified by Friday, March 10.
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