Food Safety Outreach Program

USDA-NIFA Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grant Program provides funding for food safety training and education for small and mid-sized producers and processors affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

In FY 2016, the Food Safety Outreach Program expanded upon the FY 2015 national infrastructure established by USDA-NIFA and FDA-CFSAN (National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program). The program focuses on the delivery of customized training to small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Eligibility is quite broad, including, Cooperative Extension, NGOs and CBOs, Federal, State, local or tribal agencies, or institutions of higher education. Because the size and capabilities of eligible applicants varies widely, projects are awarded at three levels.

Pilot Projects

Pilot Projects support the development and implementation of new and potentially high-risk, high-impact food safety education and outreach programs in local communities that address the needs of small, specialized audiences from among the various target groups. For example, Pilot Projects may target non-traditional, niche, or hard-to-reach audiences, including those with cultural or language barriers. Project teams are encouraged to identify the specific training and education needs within their communities, and then to develop and implement food safety education and outreach programs that meet the very specific needs of those communities. In other words, Pilot Projects support the development and implementation of highly customized food safety education and outreach programs where no current community programs for food safety education exist. 

Community Outreach Projects

Community Outreach Projects support the growth and expansion of already-existing food safety education and outreach programs currently offered in local communities. These projects enable existing programs to broaden their scope by reaching out to a larger number of participants, or to expand the programs to new and broader audiences. In addition, Community Outreach Projects enable existing education and training curricula and other resources to be modified to ensure that they are consistent with new FSMA guidelines and that they meet the needs of expanded audiences. New audiences should include those from a variety of agricultural production and processing systems.

Multistate Education and Training Projects

Multistate Education and Training Projects support the development of multi-county, state-wide, or multi-state food safety education and outreach programs. These projects encourage collaborations among counties and states sharing common food safety concerns, even though they may not necessarily be located within the same region.  For example, Multistate Education and Training Projects enable collaborations located in states as distant as California, Arizona, and Florida. These collaborating states may share very similar food safety issues, produce the same or similar types of commodities, or market their products to similar audiences. Potential applicants must be capable of developing and modifying food safety education and training curricula and other resources to meet new FSMA guidelines for a variety of agricultural production and processing systems.

The full Request for Application can be found on the NIFA website.

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FSOP Awardees

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