Currently, there are many opportunities for small business women to capitalize on the growing interest of American consumers in farming. Farming is indeed a niche that most large farms cannot fill. However, there is a wealth of assistance available to women in the form of grants, which makes starting a farm business relatively straightforward for them.
It would be logical to assume that finding business loans for women would be a breeze since there are more women farmers than ever before. Even though the number of women producers has steadily increased, it remains difficult for farmers to obtain grants. Finding the right farm grant can be a challenge. It’s because there are more female farmers needing funding now than ever before. The good news is that there are still some farm grants available for women farmers from both government and non-government organizations. Throughout this guide, I will discuss some effective farm grants for women and how to apply for them.
- 1 Types of Farming Grants for Women
- 2 Organization That Gives Farming Grants to Women
- 2.1 1. United States Department of Agriculture
- 2.2 2. Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program
- 2.3 3. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
- 2.4 4. SARE Grants
- 2.5 5. Young Farmer Grant Program
- 2.6 6. FACT Fund-a-Farmer Grant
- 2.7 7. Vermont Farm Women’s Fund
- 2.8 8. FruitGuys Community Fund
- 2.9 9. American Agri-Women (AAW)
- 2.10 10. Simply Organic Giving Fund
- 2.11 11. Agricultural Grants For Females
- 3 Grants for Beginning Female Farmers
- 4 Eligibility Requirements for Farming Grants for Women
- 5 Application Procedure for Farming Grants for Women
- 6 List of Other Providers that Give Farming Grants to Women
- 7 Advantages of Farming Grants for Women
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Farming Grants for Women
The purpose of grants for women farmers is to assist them in achieving their agricultural goals. There are a variety of grants available to farmers, such as assistance with the purchase of land, the purchase of equipment, and the development of new farming practices. This type of grant can provide financial support to women farmers to help them flourish and create sustainable businesses. Some of the available types are such as:
- Agricultural scholarship and grant
- Donation and fund
- Financial assistance
- Housing loan
- Government Grant
- Private Organizations
- Non-Degree Education and Training Opportunities
Organization That Gives Farming Grants to Women
The number of public and private organizations offering first-time female farm grants is increasing in order to bridge the gender gap and boost the local economy. In addition to providing you with educational and networking opportunities, these organizations can also assist you in obtaining financial assistance. As part of this guide, we will discuss some farm grants for women and what you should expect when you apply. Keep in mind that a lot of farming grants go to farmers who practice sustainable farming as you browse this list. You can start, grow, and protect your operation no matter the size of the crop.
1. United States Department of Agriculture
Despite the USDA not providing grants to farmers, women, and minority farmers may qualify for funding through a program called Socially Disadvantaged Applicant (SDA). Applicants who apply for SDA funding must provide details regarding their ethnicity, race, and gender.
A Direct Farm Ownership Down Payment Loan may also be available to women farmers who require assistance when purchasing a farm. A USDA loan will finance 45% of the farm-purchase price, while women farmers will only have to pay 5% of the purchase price. A maximum loan amount of $300,000 is available to farmers who receive this loan.
Besides offering Value-Added Producer Grants, the USDA’s Office of Rural Development also provides options for farmers to expand their marketing opportunities and generate new products. Those who are beginner farmers or socially disadvantaged receive priority consideration. When applying for the grant, applicants may receive up to $75,000 and when applying for a Working Capital Grant, they may receive up to $250,000. Applicants should speak with one of the USDA’s Business Programs Specialists before submitting their application for the Value-Added Producer Grant.
2. Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program
Applicants to the USDA WAMS program may increase their knowledge and skills in the STEM fields relevant to USDA’s mission, which will enable them to become successful business owners in the agricultural sector. Rural women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas are eligible to receive funding through the program for research and extension activities. Women farmers who apply for this funding can learn about starting a business, launching new agricultural products, and gaining the skills and knowledge they need to work in agriculture. It gives them the chance to work with other rural women and underrepresented minorities, which promotes networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for them that can make them more successful in agriculture. You can learn more about this program by visiting “nifa.usda.gov/grants/programs/women-minorities-science-technology-engineering-mathematics-fields-grant-program”.
3. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
Blue Ridge is known for its farmland. But surprisingly, many of its residents don’t have access to healthy, fresh food. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture began as a gathering of female farmers, gardeners, and supporters of agriculture in the early 2000s.
Women growers and their families get a lot of support from Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. A variety of events and services are available through their program, including farm tours, educational seasonal workshops for producers and consumers, and collaboration on a variety of activities that contribute to the success of a regional food system. Besides networking, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture fosters empowerment and information sharing among its mostly female members.
As part of the Resourceful Communities program, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture supports grassroots organizations in planning, managing, and implementing community programs, with an emphasis on leadership succession, board development, and resource development. Using grant support, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture implements solutions for the “food desert” region. It includes the installation of community gardens, the development of a regional food hub, and the continuation of community-supported agriculture (CSA).
4. SARE Grants
Members of SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grants) come from all backgrounds, including farmers and ranchers. In addition to providing help with the establishment of new farms or businesses, this grant also assists with entering new markets and enhancing productivity. Beginning agriculturalists have the opportunity to gain valuable experience from more experienced professionals through the Farm Beginnings Program.
If you are interested in furthering your studies in sustainable agriculture and gardening then you can apply for SARE Scholarships by visiting “sare.org/grants”. This way you can receive financial assistance. This is how you can assist them in achieving their educational objectives. Those seeking to break into sustainable agriculture will be well equipped for success, with the grants and scholarships available through Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.
5. Young Farmer Grant Program
National Young Farmers Coalition’s Young Farmer Grant Program provides assistance to female farmers who wish to start or expand their farms. The purpose of this particular grant program is to provide $5,000 to 50 aspiring or new farmers in order to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Female-identified, non-binary, and trans farmers will get a minimum of 50% of the grants.
Applicants may use the grant for a variety of purposes, including the purchase of equipment, the payment of operational expenses, or the hiring of new employees. A Young Farmer Grant is available to female farmers who are under the age of 40, have their own farm or business, and practice sustainable agriculture. Describe how you will use the grant to sustain your business operations in your application. Visit “youngfarmers.org/youngfarmergrants” to get details on the grant.
6. FACT Fund-a-Farmer Grant
Through its Fund-a-Farmer Grant program, Food Animal Concerns Trust distributed half a million to independent family or individual farmers who work in pursuit of animal welfare. Those who receive grants will receive $2,500 each. Three grant types are available through the program:
- Animal Welfare Certification Grant: Farmers can apply for the grant to receive certifications that meet animal welfare standards, such as Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), Certified Humane (CH), or Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
- Capacity Building Grant: Grants are available to farmers who are already AWA, CH, or GAP certified and need financial help to expand their markets.
- Pasture Improvement Grant: This grant helps farmers improve the quality of their pastures or make their animals more accessible to pastures.
The eligibility requirements for each grant differ, but generally, farmers must take an active role in managing their farm and their animals daily. Online applications require applicants to provide information about their farm, project, and budget. The application process may require applicants to submit photos of their farm and animals. You can find more information about the grant opportunity at “foodanimalconcernstrust.org/grants”.
7. Vermont Farm Women’s Fund
Vermont Farm Women’s Fund provides support for women farmers in the development of their farming businesses. The foundation awards scholarships to women farmers who want to improve their farms through education or training. Students can use these scholarships to cover the cost of learning events, courses, and classes. A scholarship cannot cover more than $150 or 75% of the course or conference fees. The application process requires applicants to submit basic contact information while answering questions regarding their farming experience, income, financial goals, and educational goals. You can find more information at “uvm.edu/~vfwf”.
8. FruitGuys Community Fund
Female farmers may also qualify for grants through the FruitGuys Community Fund. The organization provides grants for projects that will help small farms and agricultural nonprofits become more sustainable by offering grants of $2,000 to $5,000 each. The projects that get priority include water conservation, natural pest control, energy efficiency, community building, etc.
You need to own the farm and commit to community outreach if you’re interested in applying. It is also necessary to classify the farm itself as either small or medium-sized depending on what area it covers. If you want to apply, you need to send a letter of intent. Visit “fruitguyscommunityfund.org” for more details.
9. American Agri-Women (AAW)
The American Agri-Women (AAW) is a national organization that empowers and supports female farmers. As a nonprofit organization founded in 1978, AAW’s mission is to raise public awareness of the issues facing farmers today and develop sustainable solutions. The organization provides educational materials to farmers, provides scholarships, organizes networking events, and advocates for a legislature that protects the interests of women in agriculture.
As part of AAW’s commitment to facilitating independent leadership for women on farms across the country, the foundation awarded over $95,000 in Farm Grants to 25 female-led projects. Here’s more info: “americanagriwomen.org/aaw-foundation”.
10. Simply Organic Giving Fund
A private organization known as Simply Organic promotes organic farming. A variety of organic spices, seasonings, salads, sauces, and baking supplies are available from its line of products. A percentage of its earnings goes to the simple organic given fund. Since 2001, over $1.5 million has been allocated to organic farming communities, making it a viable grant option for female farmers.
This grant is largely for female farmers who produce, distribute, and promote organic food or offer nutrition counseling with a focus on organic produce. People who offer organic and sustainable food to food-insecure households and communities are most likely to get this grant.
To find out more about the 2022/2023 application, go to “simplyorganic.com/grant-application”.
11. Agricultural Grants For Females
Agricultural grants that are awarded under state and federal agricultural programs are also available to women farmers. The USDA offers the Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) to new farmers and ranchers to provide financial assistance. Here, eligible candidates may receive up to $700,000 per project.
You can apply for different grant programs depending on your location and business goals. They are such as
- NewYork– New Women Farmers Grant Fund
- Texas – TAFA’s Young Farmer Grant
- Kentucky – Small-Scale Farm Grant Program
Grants for Beginning Female Farmers
Beginning farmers are people who haven’t operated a farm or ranch for over 10 years. The applicant will not have more than 30 percent of the average farm size in the county at the time of the loan application. She has to meet the eligibility requirements of the grant program she’s applying for. After that, a female farmer can apply for these grants.
1. ACDI/VOCA Grants
After combining international cooperative development and overseas cooperative aid, ACDI / VOCA stands for the new name. Both organizations are nonprofits in the United States that work in the field of agriculture to help promote economic development. In Washington, D.C., the organization offers grant programs for women to help them improve their communities, enhance their quality of life, and improve their economic status. ACDI / VOCA programs include tendering, negotiating, allocating, and doing administrative stuff after the grant.
2. Value-added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants
In the context of market development subsidies, farmers will be the top choice when it comes to high-value agricultural products. There is a difference between agricultural products with high added value and other types of agricultural products. As a result of their conscious change during production, their market value increases.
An agricultural product gets better when it’s grown organically. Agribusinesses that produce value-added products can become profitable despite being unprofitable. These grants will assist farmers with developing a start-up business plan with options for commercializing the value-added agricultural products they produce. Fill out the simplified application form for farm grants for females who have a net income of less than $50,000. There is a requirement for a 50 percent match.
3. Subsidies Small and Mid-sized Farm Grants
Grants for small- and medium-sized farms are available through the Small Business Innovation Research Scholarship Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Women receive these grants to start new farms that produce specific agricultural products. These funds are available to potential farmers. In this program, new female farmers learn how to manage their farms to increase profitability, scale operations to small farms, and use the farm’s natural resources.
As well as gaining a fresh take on the marketing of the innovative new products it produces in the future, female farmers receive farm grants ranging from $70,000 to $100,000.
4. Risk Management Education Farm Grants for Women
Grants for farmers are a valuable resource for risk management. A grant provides vital resources to help female farmers increase crop yields and improve their business operations. You may apply for grant funds to invest in new technologies, expand existing investments, or pay crop insurance premiums.
Furthermore, these grants can cover a portion of the direct expenses of the farm. These farm grant funds help women farmers succeed financially despite inequality in earning potential compared to their male counterparts. A woman who receives the right guidance and support will be able to improve her farm and challenge patriarchal standards for financial success.
According to the webpage, the selection process also considers historically disadvantaged groups. There is a specific mention of historically underserved women producers, indicating that they will be a top priority. The proposal process will also focus on climate change, wildfire response, local foods, and urban agriculture, which may help women producers. Check out “usda.gov/media/blog/2022/01/12/2-million-risk-management-education-organizations” for more details.
Eligibility Requirements for Farming Grants for Women
Governments give grants to women who own or want to own farms because agribusiness is so important to the success of this country. These farm grants for women protect America’s rural landscape by funding those who face cyclical farming challenges.
America’s success is indeed tied to its agriculture, but agricultural products are seasonal and have many variables out of farmers’ hands. Farming is an expensive endeavor, but it is a buzzing term that the farm won’t make a profit for a long time. Keeping cattle farmers in business and supporting their efforts are two reasons why government grants are provided to them.
Getting a federal grant is about figuring out if you’re eligible. Applying for a grant you can’t receive would be a waste of your time and money.
To determine your eligibility, you need to know what kind of organization you’re representing or whether you’re applying as an individual. Your eligibility needs to be checked if you are applying individually or on behalf of your organization.
Usually, small business grants are available to companies that meet the size requirements set by the US government. Almost every industry in the economy gets help from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Individuals can apply for funding opportunities on their behalf (i.e., not on behalf of companies, organizations, institutions, or governments). You’re only allowed to apply for funding opportunities if you’re registered as an individual applicant.
Grants.gov has a lot more funding for organizations than for individuals. Find out how to get other types of government funding in the Grant Programs section if you’re looking for personal financial assistance.
An organization or individual from abroad can apply for a grant if they meet the authorizing legislation and agency policies. Registration is the same for foreign applicants as for domestic applicants, but there’s an extra step.
For foreign applicants, make sure to read their most recent guidance on the IRS website “irs.gov” before applying.
Application Procedure for Farming Grants for Women
Data indicate that women constitute more than 40 percent of the workforce in agriculture worldwide. Approximately one-third of all farms in the United States are owned and operated by women. While they only earn about $60,000 a year, they still make more than men. You can apply for farm equipment grants and land purchases using the following steps.
- First, ensure that you conduct thorough research. It is important to provide supporting documentation in the form of a plot and expenditures. In case additional references are required, please provide them.
- Ensure that the budget is prepared with care. You will likely have to make guesses based on research, data, and prior experience even though several expenses are exact. Justifying each item in the budget is crucial.
- Please take the time to read the request for proposals or the solicitation for proposals carefully. Check that your objectives are in line with the funder’s mission. If your goals do not align with the USDA’s request for proposals, look elsewhere.
- Do not hesitate to ask if you are unsure. In most requests for proposals, contact information is provided. Preventing discrepancies early on will save you time, effort, and frustration in the long run.
- You should follow the directions in the solicitation. This may seem simple. But grant requests are frequently rejected because applicants fail to follow the directions. If you fail to meet the requirements, you will be disqualified immediately.
- It is advisable to start early. The USDA frequently seeks letters of recommendation or endorsements from professionals and specialists. For a letter of recommendation or endorsement to be successful, the writer must fully comprehend the proposal.
List of Other Providers that Give Farming Grants to Women
The number of farm grants available to women farmers is small, but they do exist. These grants and financing resources are for women and other farmers, including federal and local grants and financing options. When you go through this list, you should keep in mind that a lot of the grants are for female farmers who practice sustainable agriculture.
- Grant Program For Socially Disadvantaged Groups
- Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
- Agricultural Land Protection Program
- Farmworker Housing Loans and Grants
- State Farm Grants For Business
- The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
- Minorities and Women Farmers And Ranchers Loan
- Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Mahindra Tractor
- Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Cheryl Dant Hennesy
- Kentucky Women In Agriculture Scholarship
- Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund
- Redbird Farmer’s Project
Advantages of Farming Grants for Women
The agriculture sector can play a significant role in reducing poverty and driving growth. But it is underperforming in many regions of the world, particularly among women farmers. Women, who are crucial resources in agriculture and rural economies, face several constraints that impair their productivity. Farming grants for women in the U.S. are great for those who are financially struggling and need some help starting or continuing their farming. Here are some of the advantages that women can get from farming grants.
- Aid in the form of grants: A farming grant can provide women farmers with the financial support they need to launch or expand their farming operations. An individual may be eligible for grants to cover a variety of expenses, including equipment, land acquisition, and training.
- Farming knowledge empowerment: Many farming grants for women come with access to additional resources, such as technical assistance and training programs. These resources can help women farmers develop the skills and knowledge necessary to run a successful farming business.
- Connecting with experts: Grants for women farmers can provide opportunities to connect with other women farmers, industry experts, and potential customers. Networking can be an important component of building a successful farming business. It can lead to partnerships, collaborations, and increased market access.
- Modern-day farming technique: Some farming grants for women are focused on promoting sustainable farming practices, such as conservation and regenerative agriculture. These practices can help reduce the environmental impact of farming operations, increase soil health and biodiversity, and improve the resilience of farming systems.
- Inclusion and acknowledgment: Women farmers have historically faced discrimination and barriers to entry into the agriculture industry. Farming grants for women can help address these disparities by providing recognition and support to women farmers and helping to build a more diverse and inclusive agriculture sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it typically take to hear back after submitting a grant application?
Many grant programs have an established timeline for their review process, which can range from a few weeks to several months. Generally, it is not uncommon for the review process to take several months or more.
Some grant programs may provide applicants with regular updates on the status of their application throughout the review process, while others may only notify applicants after a final decision has been made.
Can women from any country apply for farming grants in the United States?
In general, non-U.S. citizens are not eligible for most government-funded farming grants. However, some programs may allow non-citizen residents, such as permanent residents or those on certain visas, to apply.
Therefore, if you are a woman from another country and are interested in applying for farming grants in the United States, you should research specific programs to determine their eligibility requirements.
Can I apply for multiple grants at the same time?
In some cases, grant programs may have restrictions on the number of applications an individual can submit. It may also require applicants to choose which specific grant they are applying for. Applying for multiple grants is sometimes regarded as a conflict of interest or impacts your chances of receiving funding.
Therefore, it is important to carefully review the guidelines for each grant program and, if in doubt, reach out to the grant provider or program administrator for clarification.
How much money can I typically expect to receive from a farming grant?
There are particular funding needs for agricultural businesses. One challenge new farmers may face is the high cost of basic farming equipment. Changing weather patterns, technology, or land prices can all affect your profit. The amount of grant money you may be eligible for depends entirely on the organization, your farm’s condition, and your economic criteria. Several government organizations and non-profit sources provide grants for female farmers. Any type of farming grant typically ranges between $10,000 and $200,000.