Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program

To assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S.

food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.

credit: eattilapia

Examples of Funded Projects

A wide spectrum of marketing projects relating to food and agricultural products: new markets, direct marketing, evaluation of consumer preferences, export opportunities, economic and market analysis, transportation, distribution, labeling, and producer education to improve business and marketing skills.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2006, 75 proposals were submitted and it is estimated that 25 projects will be funded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Proposals may deal with barriers, challenges or opportunities manifesting at any stage of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale, and retail.

Proposals may involve small, medium or large scale agricultural entities but should potentially benefit multiple producers or agribusinesses.

Proprietary proposals that benefit one business or individual will not be considered.

Proposals that address issues of importance at the State, regional or national level are appropriate for FSMIP.

FSMIP also seeks unique proposals on a smaller scale that may serve as pilot projects or case studies useful as a model for others.

Of particular interest are proposals that reflect a collaborative approach between the States, academia, the farm sector and other appropriate entities and stakeholders.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State Departments of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations and other appropriate State agencies.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Producers, processors, marketing agencies, and general public.


A grant agreement is entered into between the administering Federal agency and the State agency that submits the application.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit forms SF-424 and SF-424A, a narrative description of the proposal, and a supplemental budget. Supporting documents such as letters of support may be submitted.

Award Procedures

The requests are reviewed and approved or disapproved by the Agricultural Marketing Service in competition with other applications received. Grantees are notified of the amount awarded by allotment letter. Grant payments are made on a reimbursable basis.




Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, Section 204b, 7 U.S.C. 1623(b).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

4-5 months from the application deadline.


No formal appeal procedure.


Awards are generally for one year. Additional time to complete the project may be requested.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

States must at least match the request for grant funds. The match consists of cash or a combination of cash and in kind resources.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payments are made to the States on an as needed, reimbursable basis over the grant period. Advance payments may be requested.

Post Assistance Requirements


Six month progress reports are required.

A final financial status report and final project report are to be submitted to the Staff Officer no later than 90 days after the grant period ends.

Field reviews are made by Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program personnel.


In accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 3052; Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations; which implement OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations; nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052.


States must keep all records relating to the grant for 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $1,334,000; FY 08 est $3,209,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$21,000 to $135,000. Average: $51,385.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

A request for proposals is announced each fall via agency press release, Federal Register notice, a letter to state departments of agriculture, and the program web site. Additional information about the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program as well as links to final project reports are available at the program web site.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Staff Officer, Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture, Room 4009-S, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-2704 Contact: Janise Zygmont.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Project selection is based on several factors: relative need or importance of the problem to be addressed; benefits likely to be derived in relation to the funds requested; level of state and other nonfederal support; potential impact on other states or issues of national importance; measures to be used in evaluating the impact of the project; and unique innovative features of the project.

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, a project of Assets Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, has now opened its voting portal for people who will donate money to the projects they like best.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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