Funding a farm – new or old – can be a challenge. There are lots of funding opportunities out there if you know where to look. Here are a few.
The University of Vermont New Farmer Project has a Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm available for free download. Their New Farmer Project has a resource guide, online tools, classes, and webinars, and funding opportunities.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service will help applicants for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). This program offers an opportunity for financial assistance for organic and transitioning organic farmers to implement conservation practices. Apparently, there is a dearth of applicants for the funding so far. The deadline to apply is June 1, so you’ll need to move fast on this one.
Look at their funding opportunities page for more ideas. Some of the opportunities on their list are state-specific, but you could check with you extension office to see if your state or region has similar programs.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service also has a number of publications available for free download on the internet. If you prefer a print copy, they’ll mail it to you for a few dollars per publication. Read their “Tips for Selling at Farmers Markets”, “Tips for Selling through CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture”, or “Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores”.
The USDA has an enormous list of grants available on their web site. You’ll have to go through each one to find the ones that apply to you. The titles of the grants aren’t always helpful in determining the focus of the grant.
Tree farm nursery photo via Shutterstock