chalkboard with words "Government Grants" written in chalk on it
Image by Chris Potter

Grants and Loans for Agriculture

Dairy and Field Crops

Dairy

Maple

Maple

CSA farm stand, tent with vendor and boxes of fresh vegetables
Image by Michael Rihani

Vegetables

Grants and Loans

GRANTS

Beginning Farmers

Barnraiser 

Agency: Barnraiser
Type: Grant
Source: Crowdfunding
Website: https://www.barnraiser.us/
Description: Raise funds for food and farming-related projects by attracting online donations.
Amount: Any amount
Matching requirement: None
Application period: Anytime
Contact: https://www.barnraiser.us/contact_us

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
Agency: Farmer Veteran Coalition
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: http://www.farmvetco.org/about-us/our-programs/farming-fellowship/
Description: This fund is for veterans who are getting started in farming or ranching. The monies of this fund are not given directly to the farmers, but instead to third parties for the purchase of items essential for getting started in farming and ranching such as equipment.
Amount: $1,000 - $5,000
Matching requirement: None
Special requirements: 1) Applicants must have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, 2) for veterans, applicant must have had a honorable discharge, 3) for active service members, must have letter of command support, 4) all applicants must have must have a farm plan, 5) all applicants must be willing to participate fully in the fellowship program activities such as reporting progress, mentoring other aspiring veteran farmers, and representing the Farmer Veteran Coalition at events, 5) all applicants must have a desire to make a positive impact on the veteran community involved in farming.
Application period: Opens February 3rd, 2020
Contact: Farmer Veteran Coalition at 530-756-1395

Kickstarter
Agency: Kickstarter
Type: Grant
Source: Crowdfunding
Website: https://www.kickstarter.com/
Description: Raise funds for any project by attracting online donations.
Amount: Any amount
Matching requirement: None
Application period: Anytime

Business

 Farmer Grants

Agency: Northeast SARE
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Farmer-Grant
Description: Provides funding to "commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique." Funds can be used to compensate a farmer for his time invested in researching the new idea.
Amount: Up to $15,000
Matching requirement: None
Special requirements: Producers must have a technical advisor that is an extension agent, crop adviser, or another professional.
Application period: Fall 2020
Contact: Carol Delaney at 802-229-2096 (Mon, Fri), 802-656-0697 (Tues, Wed, Thurs), or Carol.Delaney@uvm.edu.

New York State Good Agricultural Practices Certification Assistance Program
Agency: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Type: Grant
Source: New York State
Website: https://agriculture.ny.gov/food-safety/good-agricultural-practices
Description: Reimburses fees for certification of good agricultural practice (GAP, GHP) that are needed by producers to sell to certain wholesale buyers.
Amount: up to $1,000
Matching requirement: None
Special requirements: GAP/GHP audit and water testing costs only
Application period: See grant website
Contact: NYS Department of Ag and Markets: Division of Food Saftey & Inspection (Farm Product Unit), GAP & GHP Certification Assistance Program at 518-457-2090 or nysgapinfo@agriculture.ny.gov

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Agency: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Type: Grant
Source: State
Website: https://agriculture.ny.gov/farming/specialty-crop-block-grant-program
Description: Provides funding to farms who produce specialty crops which are interested in value added products, food hubs, food safety training, and farm to school programs.
Amount:
Matching requirement:
Special requirements:
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Mark MacMullen at 518-457-4383 or mark.mcmullen@agriculture.ny.gov

Value Added Producer Grants
Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants
Description: "The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on Grants.gov."
Amount: Up to $75,000 for planning grants and $250,000 for working grants.
Matching requirement: 50% of total project cost
Special requirements: Data Universal Number System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) need to be set up before applying.
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Scott Collins, Acting State Director at 315-477-6400

Fund a Farmer Grants
Agency: Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: https://foodanimalconcernstrust.org/grants/
Description: Funds grants for raising animals humanely. Two types of projects are eligible, (1) Animal Welfare Certification Projects; (2) Pasture Improvement Projects.
Amount: up to $2,500
Matching requirement: none
Special requirements: Farms must be animal welfare-oriented.
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Lisa Isenhart, FACT’s Humane Farming Program Manager at 773-525-4952 or grants@foodanimalconcerns.org

Community/Local Foods

Community Foods Project

Agency: USDA
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/community-food-projects-cfp-competitive-grants-program
Description: The Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFP) awards grants to eligible nonprofits, tribal organizations and food program service providers to promote self-sufficiency and food security, address specific needs and provide comprehensive, community-based solutions in low-income communities.
Amount: $35,000 - $400,000
Matching requirement: 100% match required
Application period: April 2020 – June 2020

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)

Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: Fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/emergency-conservation/index

Description: Emergency grant funding to help farmers and ranchers repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disaster, including water conservation in the time of a drought
Amount: 50,000 while $50,001 to $100,000 requires state committee approval. Amounts over $100,000 require the approval of the national FSA office.
Matching requirement: 25% of project costs

Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)

Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/emergency-forest-restoration/

Description: Emergency grant funding for the owners of non-industrial private forests. Helps restore forest health in areas that have been affected by natural disaster
Amount: $50,000. While $50,000 to $100,000 requires state committee approval. Amounts over $100,000 require the approval of the national FSA office.
Matching requirement: 25% of project cost
Special requirements: Nonindustrial private forest

Farmers Market Promotion Program

Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/fmpp

Description: to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products
Amount: Varies
Matching requirement: None
Special requirements: Data Universal Number System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) need to be set up before applying.
Application period: June 2020
Contact: E-mail: USDAFMPPQuestions@ams.usda.gov
Phone: 202-720-0933

Farm to School Grant Program
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program
Description: Provides funding to groups that initiate or implement farm to school programs.
Amount: Varies
Matching requirement: 25% match
Special requirements: Schools eligible for planning & implementation grants. Producers, producer networks, and agencies eligible for support service & training grants.
Application period: See website
Contact: USDA Farm to School Grant Program at farmtoschool@fns.usda.gov

Local Food Promotion Program Planning Grants
Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/lfpp
Description: Helps fund the planning stages of a "local or regional food business enterprise"
Amount: $25,000 - $100,000
Matching requirement: 25% match
Special requirements: Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products.
Application period: June 2020
Contact: USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service at 202-720-2731 or any of the following grant specialists: Kim Harmon at Kim.Harmon@ams.usda.gov,Velma Lakins at Velma.Lakins@ams.usda.gov, Zoemi Santiago at Zoemi.Santiago@ams.usda.gov.

Local Food Promotion Program Implementation Grants
Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/lfpp
Description: Helps to fund the establishment or expansion of a "local or regional food business enterprise."
Amount: $100,000 - $500,000
Matching requirement: 25% match
Special requirements: Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products.
Application period: June 2020
Contact: USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service at 202-720-2731 or any of the following grant writing specialist: Kim Harmon at Kim.Harmon@ams.usda.gov, Velma Lakins at Velma.Lakins@ams.usda.gov, Zoemi Santiago at Zoemi.Santiago@ams.usda.gov.

Rural Business Development Grants

Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants
Description: Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) are competitive grants made to rural public entities designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and Jess than $1 million in gross revenues.
Amount: There is no maximum grant amount; however, smaller requests are given higher priority
Matching requirement:
Special requirements:
Application period: Due by March 31, 2020

Conservation/Environment

Climate Resilient Farming Grants

Agency: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Type: Grant
Source: State
Website: https://agriculture.ny.gov/soil-and-water/climate-resilient-farming
Description: Provides funding to farmers for projects the mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate change
Amount:
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: Farms MUST apply by contacting the county Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Only SWCDs are directly eligible.
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Madison County Soil and Water

Conservation Innovation Grants
Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Type: Grant
Source:Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/cig/
Description: The Conservation Innovation Grants are aimed to help encourage the development and implementation of innovative conservation practices on agricultural land. About 10% of the funding for these grants is designated towards historically under-served and veteran farmers.
Matching requirement: 50% or more of total cost of the project.
Special requirements: Must be eligible for Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).
Application period: See website
Contact: NRCS Service Center Office in Waverly at 607-565-3454 or NRCS Horseheads Program Delivery Point at 607-739-2009

New England Grassroots Grants

Agency: New England Grassroots Environmental Fund
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: https://grassrootsfund.org/dollars

Description: The Grassroots Fund interprets the word 'environment ' broadly and will provide funding for a wide range of community-based environmental projects, including those involving agriculture and food systems. Grow grants are geared to established groups who are ready to expand the scope of their work. Grow groups often have 1+ year experience running community projects. Seed grants are geared to groups launching new projects and/or evolving the scale of an existing project.
Amount: $250-$1,000 for Seed Grants and $1,000-$3,500 for Grow Grants
Matching requirement: None
Application period: Revolving for Seed Grants and March 15th and September 15th for Grow Grants
Contact: Audrey Irvine-Broque, 603 905 9915 or audrey@grassrootsfund.org

Energy

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency
Description: The Rural Energy for America Program "provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements."
Amount: Up to $20,000
Matching requirement: Loans up to 75% of total project costs, grants up to 25% of total project cost, loans and grants require at least 25% matching
Special requirements: 50% of gross income must come from the agricultural operation.
Application period: March 15th, 2020 for Unrestricted Grants and January 31, 2020 for Energy Audit and Energy Development Assistant Grants
Contact: Scott Collins, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development at 315-477-6400

Organic

Organic Certification Cost Share Programs

Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/occsp
Description: Helps fund part of the cost of organic certification
Amount: Up to 75% of certification cost, not to exceed $750
Matching requirement: 25% match
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Rita Meade, OCCSP Coordinator at 202-260-8636 or Rita.Meade@ams.usda.gov

Organic Certification Reimbursement
Agency: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
Type: Grant
Source: State
Website: https://apps.agriculture.ny.gov/AP/Organic/reimbursement.html
Description: Organic producers and processors are eligible for a reimbursement of 75% of annual certification costs.
Amount: up to $750
Matching requirement: 25% match
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Anne St. Cyr, NYS Department of Ag and Markets, Organic Reimbursement Program at 518-485-9974 or anne.st.cyr@agriculture.ny.gov

Organic Micro Grant

Agency: Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: https://ocia.org/research-education/micro-grants/
Description: OCIA Research and Education is a charitable organization, created in 2003, by OCIA International, an organic certification organization. OCIA's research arm's mission is to support organic research; facilitate connections between farmers, researchers, consumers and decision­ makers; and educate producers and communities regarding organic farming and foods.
Amount: $500 to $3,000
Application period: See grant website
Contact: (402) 477-2323

Simply Organic 1% Fund Grant

Agency: Simply Organic
Type: Grant
Source: Nonprofit
Website: https://www.simplyorganic.com/community/about/giving-back/grant-application
Description: The Simply Organic 1% Fund supports and promotes the growth of organic and sustainable agriculture through the funding of projects that research, develop, teach or promote organic agriculture. Funds will go to support promoting access to organic food options, utilization and distribution of organic food/meals, and to provide nutrition counselling and food preparation education.
Application period: July – September 2020
Contact: Alicia Simmons, Sustainability Manager Simply Organic, Giving Fund Grant Program Coordinator. Email: sogrants@frontiercoop.com

Research, Education and Promotion

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

Agency: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Type: Grant
Source: Federal
Website: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/small-business-innovation-research-program-sbir
Description: Awards grants to small businesses to partake in research which could be of benefit to the public. American-owned, independently operated, for-profit businesses with 500 employees or fewer. Looking for "innovative ideas and technology, resulting in more jobs and long-term commercial value"
Amount: Phase I: up to $100,000
Application period: See grant website
Contact: Scott Dockum, USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Coordinator 202-720-6346 at sdockum@ny.usda.gov

Loans

Beginning Farmers

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans

Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/beginning-farmers-and-ranchers-loans/index
Description: The Farm Service Agency Loans for Beginner Farmers and Ranchers are aimed to help those who have not been operating for less than 10 years and owns an operation that is 30% of the typical size in America. The "Farm Ownership loans can provide access to land and capital. Operating loans can assist beginning farmers in become prosperous and competitive by helping to pay normal operating or family living expenses; open doors to new markets and marketing opportunities; assist with diversifying operations; and so much more. Through the Microloan programs, beginning farmers and ranchers have an important source of financial assistance during the start-up years."
Amount: Ownership and operating loans: $300,000; Microloans: $50,000
Special requirements: Depends on type of loan. You will need to refer to the website or speak with your local FSA representative. The ownership loans should not exceed 45% of the purchase price or appraisal value of the ranch or farm.
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: Madison County Farm Service Agency – Donna Purdy – donna.purdy@usda.gov or (315) 824-9076.

FarmStart
Agency: Farm Credit East
Type: Loan
Source: Private
Website: https://www.farmcrediteast.com/products-and-services/new-farmer-programs/FarmStart
Description: This program makes working capital investments of up to $75,000 to northeast agricultural ventures showing promise of success. The innovative program targets startup farmers and ag businesses with limited financial resources and who are not generally eligible for conventional lending programs.
Amount: Up to $75,000
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: FarmStart@FarmCreditEast.com

Microloan Program
Agency: USDA Small Business Administration
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs/microloan-program
Description: The SBA Microloan program provides loans to help small businesses cover start-up and expansion fees. These loans can be used as working capital and for things like equipment, fixtures, inventory, and supplies.
Amount: up to $50,000
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: US Small Business Administration, Answer Desk PH: 800-827-5722 or answerdesk@sba.gov

Microloans Program
Agency: USDA FSA
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/microloans/index
Description: The USDA FSA Microloan program is aimed at helping new, nontraditional, and small farms with participating in direct and wholesale marketing. In terms of the Direct Farm Ownership microloans can help with down payments on a farm, improving farm facilities, and SWCD projects. Direct Farm Operating microloans can be used towards the cost of things like beekeeping equipment, fencing, fertilizer, GAP certification, irrigation, land rent, livestock, maple syrup equipment, milking equipment, organic certification, OSHA compliance, and seeds.
Amount: Up to $50,000
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: 1) Must have no criminal record, 2) must have ability to obtain legal counsel, 3) have a good credit record, 4) be a US citizen, 5) have no forgiveness of previous debt, 6) owe no taxes to the IRS, or 7) have a previous violation to any FSA crop insurance.
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: Tioga County Farm Service Agency at 607-565-2514

Business

Agricultural Banking & Lending

Agency: NBT Banks
Type: Loans
Source: Private
Website: https://www.nbtbank.com/Business/Products-and-Services/Agricultural-Banking/Lending
Description: NBT Banks have various financial services available such as loans available to those in the agricultural community.
Application period: Ongoing

Agriculture Business Loans
Agency: M&T Bank
Type: Loans
Source: Private
Website: https://www.mtb.com/business/business-banking/industry-solutions/agriculture-businesses
Description: M&T offers a full suite of agriculture bank accounts and specialized lending solutions, including farm real estate loans, farm equipment loans, working capital lines of credit and more.
Application period: Ongoing

Agricultural Lending Program
Agency: Community Bank
Type: Loans
Source: Private
Website: https://www.communitybankna.com/
Description: Community Bank has loans and financial services for various business ventures.
Application period: Ongoing

Business and Agricultural Loans
Agency: First Citizens Bank
Type: Loan
Source: Private, Local
Website: https://www.firstcitizensbank.com/agriculture-banking/message-from-the-president.html
Description: First Citizens Bank offers an array of loans for businesses and farms. These loans can be used to cover the cost of a variety of things such as purchasing property, livestock, equipment, and many other things.
Special requirements: Farm or Business Plan
Application period: Ongoing

Farm Ownership Loans
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/farm-ownership-loans/index
Description: The Farm Service Agency Loans "help farmers and ranchers become owner-operators of family farms, improve and expand current operations, increase agricultural productivity, and assist with land tenure to save farmland for future generations." No previous ownership of farm or ranch is required.
Amount: Up to $300, 000
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: Loan will not exceed 45% of the farm or ranch purchase price or appraisal value. Also, financing from FSA and other sources must not exceed 95% of the purchase price.
Application period : Ongoing

Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL)
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/price-support/facility-loans/farm-storage/index
Description: The FSA Farm Storage and Facility loans are geared towards producers looking to build or upgrade any facilities that would be used for storage of commodities as well as portable units and trucks used in the handling of the commodities in storage.
Amount: Up to $100,000
Application period: Ongoing

Small Business Loans
Agency: USDA Small Business Administration
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs/general-small-business-loans-7a
Description: Primarily, SBA is a guarantor of loans made by private and other institutions. These loans are geared towards helping businesses out and are determine on things such as ownership, place of operation, and practices.
Amount: up to $5 million.
Special requirements: 1) Must be for profit, 2) be a small business as defined by SBA, 3) do business in the USA, 4) have invested equity, 5) have a demonstrated need for a loan, 6) must the funds solely for the business, and 7) don't owe any money to the US government.
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: US Small Business Administration, Answer Desk PH: 800-827-5722 or answerdesk@sba.gov

Kiva Zip Loans
Agency: Kiva
Type: Loan
Source: Crowdfunding
Website: https://borrow.kiva.org/borrow
Description: Raise funds for a 0% interest loan by attracting online lenders.
Amount: $25 - $10,000
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: Kiva Headquarters at 828-479-5482 or https://www.kiva.org/help?contactus=1

Loans for Agriculture, Commercial Fishing, and Forest Products
Agency: Farm Credit East
Type: Loan
Source: Private
Website: https://www.farmcrediteast.com/products-and-services/Loans
Description: Farm Credit is a network of independently owned and operated credit and financial institutions that serve farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses of every size and income range across the country as well as those that desire country living. They are focused expressly on agriculture and are committed to helping you achieve your unique financial goals.
Application period: Ongoing

Community/ Local Foods

Disaster Loans Agency: USDA Small Business Administration
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs/disaster-loans
Description: SBA Disaster Loan program is open to businesses, homeowners, nonprofit organizations, and renters for the use towards things like repair and replacement of things such as business assets, equipment, inventory, machinery, personal property, and real estate in a declared disaster event.
Amount: Up to $2 million
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: Must be in regards to a declared disaster.
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: US Small Business Administration, Answer Desk PH: 800-827-5722, Disaster Loans PH: 800-659-2955, or answerdesk@sba.gov

Emergency Farm Loans
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/emergency-farm-loans/index
Description: "The Emergency loan program is triggered when a natural disaster is designated by the Secretary of Agriculture or a natural disaster or emergency is declared by the President under the Stafford Act. These loans help producers who suffer qualifying farm related losses directly caused by the disaster in a county declared or designated as a primary disaster or quarantine area. Also, farmers located in counties that are contiguous to the declared, designated, or quarantined area may qualify for Emergency loans.
For production losses, a 30% reduction in a primary crop in a designated or contiguous county is required. Losses to quality, such as receiving a 30% reduced price for flood damaged crops, may be eligible for assistance, too."
Amount: Up to $500,000 but depends on actual production or physical loss.
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: Declaration of a natural disaster or emergency such as in the case after a tornado, flood, drought, or quarantine. Must be repaid within 12 months.
Application period: After a declaration of a natural disaster or emergency.

Energy

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants
Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency
Description: The Rural Energy for America program provides loans and grants to help agricultural producers and small businesses of rural areas invest to purchase and install renewable energy systems and/or improve their energy efficiency.
Amount: Loans: greater than $5,000. Grants up to $500, 000.
Matching requirement: Loans: at least 25% of total cost. Grants: 75% of total project costs. Loan and Grant Combined: at least 25% of total project costs.
Special requirements: 1) Agricultural producers must have at least 50% of gross income coming from their agricultural operation. 2) Small business must be in one of the define eligible regions. 3) Applicants must not owe any money to the federal government.
Application period: Open
Contact: Scott Collins, Acting State Director at 315-477-6400

Research, Education and Promotion

Youth Loans
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Loan
Source: Federal
Website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/youth-loans/index
Description: The FSA Youth Loans are directed towards youth who are involved in 4-H, FFA, and other agricultural youth groups. These loans provide funds which allow youth to start and operate projects aimed at producing income. All projects require an adult adviser with appropriate experience to oversee the youth projects and give help whenever needed.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: 1) An adult adviser with appropriate experience to oversee the project, 2) involvement in 4-H, FFA, or another agricultural youth group, 3) Parental consent for the loan closing, 4) project must contain an agricultural and educational component, 5) project must make enough to repay loan an interest.
Application period: Ongoing

Other

Note: We made every effort to be comprehensive, but just case, here are some other grant and loan directories to check out.

Cornell Small Farms Funding Resources https://cals.cornell.edu/outreach-extension

Farm Bill Programs and Grants - Overviewhttp://sustainableagriculture.net/publications/grassrootsguide/farm-bill-programs-and-grants/

Grants and Incentives for Northeast Agricultural Producers https://www.farmcrediteast.com/-/media/farm-credit-east/knowledge-exchange/Reports/2016/available-grants_final.ashx?la=en

Fund a Farmer Scholarships
Agency: Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)
Type: Other
Source: Nonforprofit
Website: https://foodanimalconcernstrust.org/scholarships/
Description: Provides scholarships for producers to attend sustainable agriculture and human livestock raising conferences.
Amount: Up to $400.
Matching requirement:
Special requirements: Funds can only be used towards events geared towards sustainable and humane farming practices.
Application period: Ongoing
Contact: Lisa Isenhart, FACT’s Humane Farming Program Manager at 773-525-4952 or grants@foodanimalconcerns.org

Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants
Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Grants and Loans
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants
Description: provides financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers. Loans and grants are provided to buy, build, improve or repair housing for farm labor, including persons whose income is earned in aquaculture and on-farm processing. Loans to finance affordable, off farm rental housing to low-wage farm workers are used in conjunction with grant funds.
Application period: Due by August 30th

Rural Energy For America Program
Agency: USDA Rural Development
Type: Grants and Loans
Source: Federal
Website:https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency

Description: provides grants and loans to farmers and businesses for energy efficiency improvements and purchase of wind, solar or other renewable energy systems, and also provides grants to help farmers with energy audits.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
Agency: USDA
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/noninsured-crop-disaster-assistance/index

Description: Provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planning occur due to natural disasters.

Farmable Wetlands Programs (FWP)

Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/farmable-wetlands/index

Description: Program designed to restore previously farmed wetlands and wetland buffer to improve both vegetation and water flow. On a voluntary basis, participants agree to restore wetlands, establish plant cover, and not use the land for commercial purposes. In return, land owners will receive an annual rental payment for enrolled acreage.

Agricultural Management Assistance

Agency: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/ama/

Description: Provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations.

Amount: $50,000 per participant for any fiscal year

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/conservation-reserve-enhancement/index

Description: Targets high-priority conservation concerns identified by a state, providing federal funds which are supplemented with non-federal funds to address those concerns. In exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and establishing permanent resource conserving plant species, farmers are paid an annual rental rate along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 10-15 years.

Conservation Reserve Program
Agency: USDA
Type: Other
Source: Farm Service Agency
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/conservation-reserve-program/index

Description: In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length.

Conservation Stewardship Program
Agency: USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/

Description: The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority concerns.

Transition Incentive Program
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/transition-incentives/index

Description: The CRP Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP) offers a special incentive of two years of extra CRP rental payments to owners of land that is currently enrolled in CRP but returning to production, who rent or sell their land to beginning, socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers or ranchers who will use sustainable grazing practices, resource-conserving cropping systems, or transition to organic production.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program
Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/landscape/ewpp/

Description: The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) was established by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters. The EWP is designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms and other natural occurrences.

Environmental Al Quality Incentives Program
Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov//wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/

Description: The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland regulations.

High Tunnel System Initiative
Agency: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov//wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?&cid=stelprdb1046250

Description: A part of the EQIP program, the NRCS High Tunnel System Initiative is a conservation program that helps individuals and legal entities engaged in agricultural production install high tunnel ("hoop house") greenhouses to extend their growing season.

EQIP Organic Initiative
Agency: USDA National Resources Conservation Service
Type: Other
Source: Federal
Website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/financial/eqip/?cid=nrcs143_008224

Description: Part of EQIP, this initiative provides technical and financial assistance to organic farmers/ranchers, and those looking to transition to organic. Funding can be used to improve operations, help producers transition, or to develop conservation plans.

Contact

Myron Thurston
Agriculture Economic Development
myron.thurston@cornell.edu
315-684-3001 ext. 126

Last updated February 24, 2020