Opportunity to apply for a mini-grant

January 12, 2021

NCR FSMA Center Mini-Grants

The word GRANTS spelled with blocks, with a plant and dollar bills around itThe NCR FSMA Center is re-budgeting funds into mini-grants in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Funds are largely available for service honorarium and travel funds to help meet 1 of 3 center objectives as outlined under “Project Initiatives” below. Complete items under “Proposal” and submit to Ellen by February 14th.  Proposals will be accepted after February 14th but probably won’t be included in the first round of funding.  Because these are funded projects, it is expected that all produced material is free and available to those who request. For any questions, please feel free to reach out to Ellen (johnsene@iastate.edu). 


  • You will be required to provide a 10 to 15 minute presentation during the June or July 2021 listening session highlighting your work.
  • Training materials, modules, scenarios, etc are expected to be posted to the Food Safety Resource Clearinghouse upon completion (https://foodsafetyclearinghouse.org/).

Project Timeline

  • Proposals due February 14th, 2021
  • Proposals reviewed and announced by March 2nd, 2021
  • Project results highlighted June or July 2021 NCR FSMA listening sessions
  • Project completed July 21st, 2021


Project Title



Project Coordinator:

Project Initiative

Proposed projects must address one of the following North Central Region FSMA Center initiatives.  Check or highlight the ONE that the proposed project addresses:

  • Improve Communication throughout the North Central Region
  • Professional development for a cadre of regional FSMA trainers
  • Technical assistance to produce growers, food processors, food hubs, and farmers’ markets the NCR


Target Audience

Check or highlight the primary target audience of the project:

  • Produce Safety Educators
  • Produce Safety Inspectors
  • Produce Farmers
  • Produce Processors
  • Other (please describe) ________________________________________

Which FSMA Rule Applies:

Check or highlight which rule the project addresses:

  • Produce Safety Rule
  • Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule
  • Other (such as Traceability) (please describe)_________________________
  • None

Project Type

Check or highlight the type of project output:

  • Teaching Scenario development (i.e. on-farm, processing, manufacturing, etc.)
  • Virtual or in-person training module
  • Video or graphic
  • Extension publication
  • Discussion group (such as the inspector calibration group)
  • Other (please describe) ________________________________________

Description of project

Provide a brief description of need for the project, how it is unique to other work currently going on, relevance of project to the North Central Region, project objective (s), method for completing the project, and expected outcome (please keep your description to less than 1 page)


  • Name, Title, Organization, and Role of each personnel involved in the project


Funding will support the project up to

  • Service honorarium for personnel up to $5,000 per project
  • Travel funds up to $1,000 per project
  • Professional services for graphic design, video editing, etc.
    • Limited funds available.  Talk to Joe before submitting
  • Other direct costs
    • Limited funds available.  Talk to Joe before submitting

Please describe how funds will be used in each budget category.

Project Commitment

I certify that I can complete this project by July 21st, 2021.





  1. How much money is available for mini grants?
    1. We have designated $50,000 toward these mini grants.
  2. I already created a FSMA-related teaching scenario for a previous annual conference.  Can I get an honorarium for that? 
    1. Yes!  We would ask that you fully develop that scenario including creating graphics for maps, collect photos, an introduction write up, and a summary write up citing the rule.  Post the entire scenario to the Clearinghouse.
  3. I already created a learning activity for NBII 2019 or NBIII 2020 NCR Events.  Can I get an honorarium for that? 
    1. Yes!  We would ask you to write up directions for that activity, create a materials list, and anything else necessary for another instructor to replicate that activity.
  4. I established a monthly gathering of inspectors who meet and discuss inspections.  Can I get an honorarium for that?   
    1. Yes! We would ask you to write up a brief summary of how many people attended (details of which states not necessary) and outcomes from the meeting(s).
  5. Can I use the mini grant funds to create and/or deliver auxiliary content for produce farmers and processors in a specific state or a specific commodity?
    1. Yes!  We would ask that you review the educational materials available on the Clearinghouse to prevent repetitiveness. Educational materials can be created for topics appropriate for produce growers and processors within the north central region.  These materials can be specific to a state or commodity. These items must include objectives and instructors notes.
  6. Can I use the mini grant funds to host a Produce Safety Alliance or Preventive Control class in my state?
    1. No.  Funds should be acquired from other sources for these courses or course materials.
  7. How will projects be evaluated for funding?
    1. Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:
      1. Scientific Merit of the Project
        1. Novelty, innovation, uniqueness, and originality;
        2. Clarity and delineation of objectives;
        3. Adequacy of the description of the undertaking;
      2. Qualifications of Project Personnel
        1. Qualifications of applicant (individual or team) to conduct the proposed project
      3. Project Need and Relevance
        1. Documentation that the project is directed toward specific North Central Regional FSMA Center Objectives
        2. Documentation that the project is needed and relevant to produce growers and/or processors