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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

Grants Advising Services Provided Through Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is providing Grants Advising services to two target groups in the Midwest.


To whom are these services directed?

  • Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the Midwest as defined by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, which is basically minority farmers or women farmers.
  • Rural Wisconsin producers and agriculture-related businesses throughout Wisconsin.  Agriculture is broadly defined to also include forestry and fisheries.  Businesses can be new or existing. 

What is Grants Advising?

MFAI’s Grants Advisor can help you apply to grant and cost-share programs of state or federal sources that could help you start or expand your agricultural, forestry or related business.  These can be programs of any federal or state agency, not just the USDA.  We will assist individual producers, associations of farmers, and agricultural, fishery and forestry-related businesses to both search for and apply to programs for which they are eligible. 

Our Grants Advisor helps you decide whether a grant would be the best way to achieve your goals.  If so, she will help you identify a grant program that best fits your goals and help you outline a plan of work to help you meet all application requirements.  If not, she will suggest other resources you may choose to approach. Examples might be federal, state or local loan programs, loan guarantees, as well as resource information and resource persons. 

The Advisor will help you identify local partners (agency staff, nonprofit organizations, or local volunteers with experience in grants and project management) to strengthen your project, to help you complete the proposal, and, if funding is awarded, to manage the projectThe Advisor can assist you in preparing the proposal to ensure timely submission with necessary forms, attachments, and letters of support.

Even for program deadlines months away, it is best to start working now with the Grants Advisor.   For more information please contact the Grants Advisor, Deirdre Birmingham, at deirdreb@mindspring.com or (608) 219-4279.