General Funding Resources
See current deadlines on the ATTRA website.
Grassroots Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill
This 128 page guide, written by the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (SAC), walks you through each of thirty-four 2008 Farm Bill programs most important to sustainable agriculture, serving both as a "report from the trenches" of what survived the most recent farm bill fight, and a guide to new policies and funding opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations. Go to SAC's website to order a hardcopy of the guide, browse through the guide online with an easy to navigate table of contents, or download and print pages from the guide.
Federal Resources for Sustainable Farming
This publication from ATTRA offers an overview
of the major federal conservation programs that
provide resources for farmers and ranchers to
enhance and maintain sustainable farming and
ranching practices. This guide helps farmers
and ranchers make their way through the often
complex and difficult application processes.
Additional Farm Funding: USDA
Visit this USDA webpage for links to current info
about federal and other funding opportunities.
FSA Farm Loan Info
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and supplies. Loans can also be used to construct buildings or make farm improvements. FSA loans are often provided to beginning farmers who cannot qualify for conventional loans because they have insufficient financial resources. FSA also helps established farmers who have suffered financial setbacks from natural disasters, or whose resources are too limited to maintain profitable farming operations. Find your local FSA office or USDA Service Center to learn more about FSA loan programs, and what info you'll need to complete an application.
FSA has a variety of loan types to choose from, including Beginning Farmer/Rancher loans, Emergency Farm Loans, Socially Disadvantaged Farmer/Rancher loans, and more. Visit the FSA website to learn more about each type of loan available.
Young & Beginning Program
Farm Credit Services of America offers a Young
& Beginning Program featuring financial benefits
for less-established producers. This program
is designed for producers age 35 or younger,
or with 10 years experience or less. This is a
loan program. For more information, visit the Farm Credit Services of America website.
Beginning Farmer Tax Credit
Available in Iowa and Nebraska, this tax program provides an incentive to current and retired farmers who rent agricultural assets to a beginning farmer. The owner receives a tax credit for several years based on the value of the lease. To learn more about Iowa's program call (515) 281-6444, or visit the Iowa Ag. Development Authority website. To learn more about Nebraska's program call (800) 446-4071, or visit the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit website.
Farm Aid is a non-profit organization working to keep family farmers on their land. Their website is full of farmer resources, including a Farm Aid Hotline, and Farmer Resource Network. They hold concerts featuring Willie Nelson and Dave Mathews to raise monies for their Farmer Disaster Fund. Call 1-800-FARMAID (1-800-327-6243), email Farmhelp@farmaid.org, or visit Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network to learn more.
Federal Crop Insurance protects a farmer against production or revenue losses when production does not meet a preset production guarantee. Covered losses include adverse weather (frost, heat, drought, hail), fire, insects and disease, wildlife damage, earthquake or volcanic eruption and failure of irrigation water supply. Non-covered losses include negligence or wrong-doing, poor management and farming practices, failure or breakdown of irrigation equipment or facilities and chemical drift. There are many crop insurance programs out there. Visit the MOSES Crop Insurance webpage to learn more, or download the MOSES Crop Insurance Fact Sheet.
Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG)
The RCDG program is designed to improve the economic conditions in rural areas by funding the establishment or operation of Coop Development Centers that can help start up, expand or improve rural coops and mutually-owned businesses.
This year (2010) USDA is specifically interested in projects that help create wealth in rural communities through strategies that stimulate economies and create jobs through - Local and regional food systems; Renewable energy generation, energy conservation, and climate change adaptation/mitigation; Broadband and other critical infrastructure; Access to capital; or Innovative uses of natural resources.
USDA expects to award about 35, one-year grants with an average grant size of $225,000. Paper applications must be postmarked by August 9, 2010 and electronic applications must be received by August 9, 2010. Visit the Rural Development website for more information or contact your local Rural Development office.