Listing of Grant and Loan Resources
March 6, 2019
Michael Fields Grants Advising is a free service available to farmers, farmer organizations and institutions in the Upper Midwest region of the United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. Our grants advisors are available to help identify appropriate grant programs to fit the client’s proposed project, clarify the goals and scope of the project, and review the client’s grant proposal.
The advisors also send out periodic email announcements about state and federal grant programs that may be of interest to farmers and farmer organizations in the target region. To sign up for the email list please email Martin Bailkey, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Michael Fields Grants Advising service is jointly funded by Farm Aid, the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and the North Central region of USDA-SARE.
Below is a list of the grant programs and sources of general support we most frequently recommend to clients. If any of these seem to fit the goals of your project, please be in touch!
Primary grants advisor: Martin Bailkey, email@example.com
North Central SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) https://www.northcentralsare.org
Professional Development Grant
USDA-AMS (United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service)
Farmers Market Promotion Program
Local Food Promotion Program
Specialty Crop Block Grant (distributed through individual states)
Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives
Sheep Production and Marketing Grant
USDA Rural Development
Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP)
Value Added-Producer Grants
USDA- NIFA* (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) https://nifa.usda.gov/grants
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program
* NIFA has a variety of specialized agricultural research and innovation grants available: https://nifa.usda.gov/rfa-list
USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (2501) Program
USDA- NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Conservation Innovation Grants
Conservation Stewardship Program
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
USDA – Farm Service Agency – Loan Funds Available
Farm Loan Programs
Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans
Minority and Women Farmers and Ranchers Loans
Native American Tribal Loans
USDA Risk Management
Education Partnerships (State by State)
USDA General Support for New Farmers – including Women and Veterans
State Departments of Agriculture
State Departments of Agriculture often offer grants for local food marketing, specialty crops, value-added production, urban agriculture, agricultural education, and other areas of interest. Please get in touch with your State Department of Agriculture for more information.
State Extension Offices
While not sources of funding in themselves, local extension agents provide assistance in various areas of farm planning that can help identify specific areas for which to seek funding, such as pasture improvement or new infrastructure elements.
US Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development
Non-Government Support Organizations and Foundations*
Annie’s Organics Grants for Gardens (focused on food education and youth gardens)
Blooming Prairie Foundation
Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation (focused on pollinators and pollinator habitat)https://www.burtsbees.com/content/outreach/out-reach-asset.html
Center for Rural Affairs (a guide to funding and financing for beginning farmers)
Clif Bar Small Grants
Farm Aid Grants (for farm-support organizations)
Farm Aid Farmer Resources Network Directory (access to resources including and beyond financial support)
Farmer Veteran Coalition (for military veterans beginning to farm)
Food Animal Concerns Trust
https://foodanimalconcernstrust.org/pasture-grants (for pasture enhancements)
Frontera Farmer Foundation (for farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin who market in the Chicago area)
* Local and community foundations are also a great resource for community agriculture projects. Contacting your local chamber of commerce is a good place to start looking for local foundations.
For more on MFAI’s Grant Advising Service and how we can help you check out our resource page.