Smallholder grants, money, assistance and resources
Starting or expanding a farm, even a small one, is no easy task. Whether you need a pig farm grant or money to expand an orchard, small farmers can apply for grants and financial assistance to advance their careers. You just need to know where to look to find the right grants and start the application process.
Whatever programs you decide to take advantage of, a small farm business plan is a requirement for almost everyone. So, while you wait for additional information from the government or other lenders or programs, make sure you have developed a complete and in-depth business plan to submit with your application.
Subsidies to small farms and other financial support resources
- First, check with your Cooperative Extension Office for the most local and individual assistance for your particular situation. Your cooperative extension office can be a useful source of information and save you a lot of time researching grant listings that don’t make sense for your needs or location.
- Then head to Grants.gov. There you can search by keyword, browse categories, or browse agencies to find small farm grants that might meet your needs.
- The USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center lists resources and opportunities for grants and loans for small farmers and other agricultural producers. There is 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 support programs you may be eligible for. .
- The Research and education in sustainable agriculture the organization lists the grants available to farmers. Some of them involve partnerships with the community or an educational institution.
- Beginfarmers.org offers a complete set of links on financial assistance for starting a small farm business. Here you’ll find everything from the USDA’s agricultural services agency to individual state programs for entry-level farmers to the farm credit union system and links to private lenders who lend to entry-level farmers.
More resources for small farmers
The resources below are not grants per se, but they are great sources of information and education that will help you as you learn the ropes of smallholder farming. They also include a long list of links to additional resources.
- The Small Farm Program is offered by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and is funded by the USDA Beginner Farmer and Rancher Development Program. It offers online courses, a website filled with resources including a guide to farming in New York City, farming videos, and hospitality events. Although based in New York, he seeks to form collaborations with other organizations in the Northeast.
- The New England Small Farm Institute offers a course called Exploring the Small Farm Dream, designed to put new farmers on the right foot in their business. Even if you are not in New England, you can work on the book for free in a self-study format.
- The USDA website has many resources for new farmers, including information on financing and a comprehensive farming tutorial for those who are brand new to small-scale agriculture.