Grants and Loans for Farmers

A seedling near a one-hundred dollar bill sprouting from the soil. (Copyright IStock)Although limited, financial support for small farms and farm-related businesses is available from a variety of Federal, state and local agencies and from non-governmental organizations. Start your search here.

USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Search for funding opportunities by Emphasis (or topic) and Eligibility to find grant announcements and applications.

United States Department of Agriculture.

USDA’s Urban Agriculture Tool Kit identifies and describes technical and financial resources developed by urban farmers, federal and city government agencies, and local organizations that address considerations for new urban farmers. Key resources include “Accessing Capital and Financing.”

Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture

This 2014 catalog, developed in accordance with the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 2801, et seq.), describes Federal programs and activities "that directly or indirectly encourage, support, or assist U.S. aquaculture." Prepared by the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture (formerly the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture) under the National Science and Technology Council’s Life Sciences Subcommittee. Note: The Guide has been archived. Conduct a Web search for the Federal Government Agency and/or the aquaculture funding program to locate current information on these programs.

USDA. Farm Service Agency. and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

This 2017 guide details USDA programs, arranged by Agency, "that have been created to help farmers succeed." Each program description "provides helpful information on who's eligible, what a program helps farmers do, and where to go to get more information." Note: Includes "Special Set-asides for Organic, Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, and/or Military Veteran Farmers and Ranchers" program matrix (p. 27).

USDA. Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

At a Glance: Highlighted Financial Programs Throughout USDA. Provides information on "USDA programs that may be of particular interest to small and beginning farmers and ranchers as well as socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers."

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute; National Center for Appropriate Technology; and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. [4th ed. October 2014.]

A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development.  Compiled for those seeking help "to foster sustainable and innovative initiatives in this country associated with agriculture and forestry," this guide describes "federal program resources ranging from grants and loans to technical assistance and information resources."  [Note: Cited websites may have changed.  Search the main Agency website by program name to locate updated information.]

United States Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture is full of exciting and rewarding opportunities. "Two of the biggest challenges facing new farmers and ranchers are access to land and access to capital. Capital needs range from buying the farm itself to financing your business. USDA and its partners have many tools that you can use when taking these first key steps."