Small Farm Grants and Financial Assistance

Small farm family

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Starting a farm, or expanding one, even a small one, is not a cheap feat. Whether you need a swine farming grant or money to expand a fruit orchard, small-scale farmers can apply for grants and financial assistance to take their career to the next level. You just need to know where to look to find the right grants and start the application process.

Regardless of what programs you decide to take advantage of, asmall farm business planis a requirement for nearly all of them. So while you wait for additional information from the government or other lenders or programs, make sure you've developed a comprehensive and thorough business plan to submit with your application.

Small Farm Grants and Other Financial Assistance Resources

  • First, check with yourCooperative Extension Officefor the most local and individual assistance for your particular situation. Your Cooperative Extension Office can be a helpful source of information and save you a lot of time spent hunting through grant listings that make no sense for your needs or location.
  • Next, head There, you can search by keyword, browse categories, or browse agencies to find small farm grants that may meet your needs.
  • TheUSDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Centerlists resources and opportunities for grants and loans for small farmers and other agricultural producers. There's also a video tutorial on funding sources as well as a Small Farms Funding Resources publication that will help you write a business plan, develop a grant proposal, and find assistance programs that you may be eligible for.
  • TheSustainable Agriculture Research and Educationorganization lists grants available to farmers. Some of these involve partnerships with the community or an educational institution.
  • Beginningfarmers.orgfeatures a comprehensive set of links about financial help to start a small farm business. You'll find everything from the USDA's Farm Service Agency to individual states' programs for beginning farmers to the Farm Credit Cooperative system and links to private lenders who loan to beginning farmers.

More Resources for Small Farmers

The resources below aren't grants, per se, but they're great powerhouses of information and education that will help you on your way as you learn the ropes of small farming. They also include an extensive list of links to additional resources.

  • TheSmall Farms Programis offered through Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and is funded by the USDA's Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program. It offers online courses, a website full of resources, including a guide to farming in New York, farming videos, and host events. Although based in New York, it is reaching out to form collaborations with other organizations in the Northeast.
  • TheNew England Small Farm Instituteoffers a course called Exploring the Small Farm Dream, geared toward getting new farmers off on the right foot with their business. Even if you're not in New England, you can work through the book in a self-study format for free.
  • TheUSDA website有许多资源新农民包括菲南cing information and a comprehensive farming tutorial for those who are brandnew to small-scale farming.