Application Process

Proposal Deadline and Requirements:

To be eligible for consideration, completed proposals must meet the following requirements: 

  • Proposals are to be complete and include sufficient information to allow reviewers to evaluate the proposal, yet be as succinct as possible. 

  • No incomplete proposals will be considered. 

  • Proposal packages are not to exceed 15 pages (Microsoft Word Document), including the application form and any attachments, letters of intent and endorsements. 

  • Applicants must follow the provided proposal format.

  • Applications must be submitted by 4:30pm on the deadline date.  


CDA may contact applicants for purposes of clarifying information contained in the proposal or to address questions about the proposed project.  Criteria utilized by CDA to evaluate proposals may include:

  • completeness, eligibility and presentation of the proposal;

  • project merit and potential for success;

  • the extent to which the project is part of a longer-term strategy rather than a stand alone project;

  • the project's potential to enhance the competitiveness of the identified specialty crop;

  • projected economic benefit to Colorado's agricultural community;

  • applicable experience and qualifications of the project principals; and

  • the level and sources of matching funds. 

Matching Funds - We consider the levels and sources of matching funds to be a key criterion for evaluating proposals.  A matching contribution of cash and/or in-kind resources equal to at least 25 percent of the total project budget is required.  We endeavor to make the best use of available resources and will give preference to proposals that demonstrate applicant commitment to the project in terms of cash contribution and that maximize the leveraging of funds. 


To apply, submit the following to our office by 4:30 p.m. on May 1, 2014:

  • one hard copy of the entire proposal including the original signed certification statement. Note: Colorado State Univeristy applicants must include a letter of support for their budget from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

  • Applicants must also submit an electronic file (Microsoft Word Document) containing all application materials at the same time that the hard copies are submitted.  

We reserve the right to reject any or all proposals, as well as increase or decrease the amount of requested funding based on its findings and the level of available funds.  Should the proposal review process suggest a funding level less than the amount requested, our staff will confer with the applicant to determine whether the amount recommended would significantly impact the project's overall feasibility. Prior funding of a project by the Department should not be considered precedent for funding of an apparently similar project. Each applicant will be notified of the Department's decision with respect to their proposal(s).  

All proposals submitted to the Department are subject to the Colorado Open Records Law. 

Grant Award Guidelines

  • No grant funds may be expended until USDA has approved the state’s recommended projectsand the contract process is complete between CDA and the organization receiving the grant. This process may take up to 60 days to complete after awards have been announced.
  • The USDA is the funding entity and has the final approval for projects submitted. Although CDA and a review panel will make the initial review and award recommendations to the USDA, the USDA will make the final decision concerning grant awards.
  • Grant award amounts will be determined on the basis of a competitive review and evaluation of each proposal. Funds will be released to the applicant through the reimbursement of documented expenses incurred after the contract effective date. Reimbursement of expenses will be contingent upon compliance with Program guidelines as set forth by CDA. Claims for reimbursement may not be made more often than monthly.
  • Grants will be made in support of specialty crops grown in the State of Colorado and are intended to supplement private, state, or third party participant funding.
  • Funds may not be utilized for paying down current debt, purchasing equipment, construction/building costs, or for indirect institutional overhead costs.
  • A matching contribution of cash and/or in-kind resources equal to at least 25 percent of the total project budget is required.