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Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program

The goal of the Smith-lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program is to support extension educational outreach initiatives for disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery (pre-disasters, during, and post-disasters). The objectives are to address one or more of the following four areas: (1) education and technical assistance; (2) collaboration; (3) long range family, community and regional planning; and (4) communication delivery and/or dissemination of credible, science-based information.

Funding Priority

Section 7129 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA), re-authorized section 3(b) & (c) of the Smith-Lever Act, Pub. L. No. 63-95 (7 U.S.C. 343), allows the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Director of the NIFA to conduct competitive grant programs to State Extension Services at 1862 Land-Grant Institutions to support innovative, education-based approaches to addressing emergency preparedness and specific responses related to natural and man-made disasters.  In accordance with the statutory authority, subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary of Agriculture may make competitive grants for a period not to exceed five (5) years.  


1862 land-grant institutions in the 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Types of Projects

Projects should support Extension activities through at least one of the following strategies: (1) enhance regional/national networks that add value to official information; (2) provide regional/national education and communications leadership to develop/add value to current educational materials regarding disaster issues; (3) improve regional/national stakeholder partnerships to decrease the impact of disasters through Extension education; and (4) deliver Extension education to affected citizens and communities to decrease the impact of a major declared disaster. The most competitive proposals provide educational and communication leadership across an optimized mix of these and other resources. 

Funding Opportunity

Visit the Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Funding Opportunity page. 

Program type
Grant Program

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