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.

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."

USDA. NAL. Sustainable Systems and Communities Program.

Watch this short video tutorial to learn more about funding sources for farmers and ranchers. The video is a companion to the Small Farm Funding Resources publication that covers tools to develop a business plan, write a grant proposal, locate funding and assistance programs and more.

USDA. Rural Development.

USDA's Rural Development helps rural individuals, producers, communities and businesses obtain financial and technical assistance. Site includes information about loans and grants, notices about available funds and a database of homes for sale. Programs for farmers include the Value Added Producer Grant and the Rural Energy for America Program.

USDA. Farm Service Agency.

FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to farmers and ranchers "who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender." Funding may be used to purchase land, livestock, and equipment; to construct buildings; or to make farm improvements. Funding is available to beginning farmers, minority and women farmers, military veterans, urban farmers, and others.

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.]

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