Farm business is getting enormous popularity and so many people are going with farm business in terms of producing agriculture products, livestock production in agricultural setting, raising poultry, dairying, fish farming and many more. A farm business needs a handsome amount of money to invest for expansion or beginning. But the owner, farmer or ranchers may feel the need to get such money to make sure they can enhance their production capacity in broader sense.
Farming is one of the sectors to expand economic opportunity with the help of innovation, assistance to rural areas to thrive, ensuring agricultural production sustainability. In the United States of America, there is also leadership assistance program on food, agriculture, natural resources, development of the rural areas through empowering farm. U. S. Department of Agriculture envision and provide all types of assistance in the field of agriculture and farm for nourishing Americans as well as meeting the food demand throughout the world.
When the owner of the farm business has a farm and want to expand or start a medium and family size farming, they can seek assistance in the form of loans, grants and knowledge. For this, we have discussed such issues on government farm grants, how you can get such grants and what you require to go and other related issues. So, this is going to be a good read when you have a farm or have a plan to start a new farm as well.
Types of Government Farm Grants
Government Farm grants is one of the helpful ways to empower rural economy through the development of the agriculture. This creates food safety and nutrition for people. For this, the US Department of Agriculture provides different types of assistance in the form of grant, loans, knowledge for the agricultural development in the rural areas.
This also helps empower food safety, agriculture, natural resources, self-sufficiency of the ranchers, and overall rural development. This department provides grants to help people who want to start a farm or extend their farm capacity. There are local, regional and tribal agricultural office to get Government farm grants money through the programs which are discussed below.
1. Farm service agencies loans
When the families want to start small family size farm and they need land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed and supplies. These are costly to buy and the people who don’t have fund enough to start, they may apply for loan from commercial entity like bank, farm credit system institutions and other lenders. Then it may be found that this loan lets them count higher interest and other strict requirements.
Then farm service agency is one of the places to go as it helps direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans for small scale farm starters. This loan helps them buy land, livestock, feed, seed and supplies. This loan also helps ranchers make improvements of the existing farm as well.
2. Beginning farmers and ranchers
This is same as FSA loans but it highly focusses on beginning farmers and ranchers who are struggling to get loans but they don’t get. In every fiscal year, this provides direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans fund to beginning farmers and ranchers. In every community especially in the rural areas, this type of farm is highly inspired to boost agricultural activities, produce crops that can demand in nutrition and nourishment and be self-sufficient for going ahead. When low income single family want to go a own farming, they can seek such assistance from the department of agriculture.
3. Crop and livestock insurance
Insurance in agriculture minimizes financial loss for the farmers. It can’t be ignored that crops will be available without any risk. Additionally, livestock production like animals may have greater risk because it involves a huge amount of money.
Every business has a risk factor and insurance helps cover that risk or damage occurred in any situation. Insurance is surety of financial services due to any unexpected damage and loss. Part of this, the USDA also works with risk management through insurance program. This aims to ensure risk management and boost the economic stability of Americas agricultural producers.
The Risk Management Agency is the part of USDA that has three parts insurance service, product management and risk compliance. So the farmers in the rural areas may opt for such insurance in the case of risk in association with seventeen private sector insurance companies that sell such services policies. But premium rate is approved by RMP and other rules and regulations are also directed as well.
4. Federal state marketing improvement program
Food and agriculture is undoubtedly corner-stone of any country. For this, the United States of America always puts importance on innovation and research to make sure new market opportunities for food and agricultural products is available.
To do that, there is matching grant program and it is known as FSMIP and it provides such grant to the USDA and other state agencies to boost new market opportunities for food and agricultural products. In this case there is cost on research and development and this fund provides accordingly. One may should contact state agencies to get to know such grants for betterment and advancement in the field of agriculture.
5. Speciality crop block grant program
Speciality crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops. These are important in terms of nutrition and nourishment for any country. More importantly, the speciality crops are encouraged to produce as well as this grant may be requested to increase competitiveness of speciality products.
6. Farmers Market promotion program
The farmers market is so popular in the United States of America because there are fresh and organic agricultural products like fruits and vegetables in the farmers market. These are located in roadside stands, community supported agriculture program where people are believed to buy such organic foods.
The Farmers Market Promotion program has been created through a recent amendment of the farmer to consumers direct marketing act of 1976. So there are grant opportunities to develop and grow such market and this grant is authorised by the FMPP. This aims to expand such type of farmers market domestically where people can reach there easily and buy fresh and organic agricultural products with trust and confidence.
7. Organic cost share program
Organic cost share program is another program that AMS (Agricultural Marketing Service) handles two organic certification cost share programs. There is cost share assistance from each program through participating states to organic producers and handlers. Recipients need to qualify eligibility like acquiring such certificates or continuation of certificates from the USDA accredited certifying agents.
Eligibility Requirements for Government Farm Grants
Even though farm grant aims to bring a change and development for the farm owners, but the grant applicant needs to know more details of the grant program. Firstly, the farm owners should check out the farm grant availability and then this grant is applicable for the grant. After that, the organization or the farm should be eligible in compliance with the farm grant purposes. In this case, there may be some issues to explain like:
- Farmers status: farmers or rancher should explain in what they are doing with these farms and where they want to go. Preference must be given on the farmers who want to expand the farm, employ more farmer and bring about an economic development through farming business. These should be added to the application if the farm grant authority requires such type of information.
- Type of farm: there are different type of farm such as vegetable, fruits, agriculture product, animal, sheep, organic food products and many more. The farmers need to know the farm grants and what type of farming are eligible for getting such grants. Farm owner may create a profile of farm when they are going to apply the right farm grant to provide added information. This can increase the chance of getting grants for farming as well.
- Certification: in some cases, the farm owners may require certificate of farming as they work on farm business. USDA or USDA accredited agencies provides certificate for the eligible farm owners in terms of organic food production, healthy food systems, environmental protection, climate smart agriculture program and many more. You may get more information on USDA on such certificates to be eligible.
Way to Determine if You are Eligible for a Grant
There are a few ways to determine the eligibility of grant. This needs study and research on how the government body and other organization provide grant depending on certain eligibility criteria.
- Firstly, you should know what type of grants you are going to apply.
- Know this grant is available for your farm business according to your location
- Be clear on your farm business meets all requirements of the farm grant
- After that, you should arrange required documents to be submitted
- Then get ready for application and wait for approval.
Procedure to Apply for Government Farm Grants
Grants are supporting hand to develop and expand farm and there are a few criteria to get such grants. One should create a farm business plan or have a farm already. When farmers don’t have any farm, but they want to start, they should know what they require to go. After that, they need to research grant opportunities which mostly come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Here are some common steps to go for application.
1. Required documents and information
Firstly, the farmers or ranchers expecting grant need to go ahead with detailed study and research like reaching to the right place and know what type of documents are required. Grants administrator always want to get proof and evidence that you have a farm and want to expand it. Then you may be required to provide certificate of farm, detailed plan papers of your farm, financial statement and any paper if required. After getting the name of such documents, you need to prepare with genuine and authentic information to go.
2. Where to apply
As the application paper need to prepared with much information required by the fill, then you should submit this application. As discussed above, your organization is to be registered with grants.gov when you are going to apply organic cost share program. it is important to follow the application instruction and submission requirements. You may check this from grants.gov. in the same way, you require to fill up the application form and supporting papers asked by the private organization to go.
3. Timeline for application and approval process
After submitting your application, this will be reviewed and it may take time indeed. If your application is approved, you will be informed through mail. But it is important to go follow up after submitting your application. This can be good to take immediate steps when you have to provide more information for getting approved.
Best Way How To Use Government Farm Grants
Grants and loans in the form of assistance will be successful when it makes a difference with their purpose. It is true that there are so many areas where development does not come but a little assistance is worth adding value as well. So here is how to use government farm grants for better and greater farm.
1. Accessing capital
Capital is required for farm development and advancement. But some farmer cultivating fruits and vegetables may face fund crisis because they need to have some arrangement to keep vegetables and fruits fresh and healthy. This includes accessing cold storage, going wash programs and arranging packing for such agricultural products. Capital in the form of grants and financial assistance also provide access to cycling waste, keeping ecological balance and protecting environment which are the good things for a farm business. Then farmers may need such grant assistance to make sure they can do business as well as improving social development.
2. Risk management
Risk is existing in every business including agricultural business. For any type of loss, the farmers need to have risk management to make sure they are not facing a huge financial loss. This loss may stop them to further increase of agricultural crops. Part of this, USDA is working to ensure insurance and it also works to reduce the insurance rate for the farmers and ranchers. On the other hand, farmers and rancher may avail grants to go further even they faced financial loss and eliminate risk in their business.
3. Market research
The farmers are producing agricultural products but they need to sell at reasonable price. If they get reasonable price, they will be inspired to grow more agricultural products. To sell products, market research is one of the most important tasks and they have to find new market, analysis price of agricultural products, collecting information on supply and demand to make sure they can take production and marketing decisions. These are highly laborious and they need to spend money. If they get grants on their farm, they can do it more effectively for better agricultural business.
4. Land improvement
The farmers have to spend a big portion of money to improve lands. They need to ensure proper tunnels for irrigation, water management, use the land in appropriate way by cleaning and making ready for cultivating lands. Improper land is the reason for less productivity of agricultural products. For this, the grant money can be used to adapt the land to be more echo-friendly and make the land fertile for more production.
5. Research and development
Research and development in agriculture sector boosts the productivity. The farmers are encouraged to learn about new technologies, new equipment, better form of seeds, new methods for agriculture, products and scientific way of cultivating the land. More importantly, innovation and technology is playing a great role for boosting organic and sustainable agricultural development. When farmers and rancher have a farm, they can go with new ideas with the technology and innovation. Then they may seek for grant and use it for this purpose. In this case, the farmers need to create a plan of the farm where research and development may have a positive impact and optimum result.
Considerations When Applying for Government Farm Grants
There is some consideration when applying for government farm grants. There may not be always availability of grants and loans due to funding or other issues. Additionally, farming is related to environment and local laws that should be followed strictly.
Competitive nature of grant application process
It is true that there is competition for applying grants. But it is to be noted that you as a starter or have existing farm owner should not be worried even you see tons of application for farm grants. It is important to be one step ahead because you are following regulations, making a difference being self-sufficiency and taking care of the community.
Limited funding availability
Grants are free money that you don’t have to pay back. In this case, so many people and farmers and rancher are seeking such grant opportunities. If everyone tries, then it may not be possible to satisfy all need. It is common to see limited funding availability due to huge applications for farm grant. There may be waiting list and you should wait accordingly.
Compliance with environmental and other regulations
Grants are provided to inspire advancement and expanding the farm. When it comes farm business, there are also environmental concerns like generating waste and recycling such waste in proper environmental standards way. Farm owners should not got for farm business that may cause issues on poor health and safety risk for the workers, environmental risk and violation of local law, rules and regulations. So they need to know such issue properly and maintain for safer and sustainable business that benefits all. When grants are available, there may be such issues to be met by the farm businesses.
Strategies for increasing the chances of grant approval
A farm business is not just for hobby for rich people but it is also going to make a difference in the community, country and brings an economic development. So the business highly is inspired that creates employment, job, and takes care of employees and protects environment from pollution. Additionally, farm business may also highlight their social responsibility to take care of the community people. They need to believe in better world through better work and business. Then this type of farm business may be awarded grant. Another part is for starter. The beginning farmers also seek grants to start a farm business. But they should have a mission and vision that benefit all. They can explain these when applying for grants.
Farm is commonly in the rural areas and we get inspired when we visit such farm. But developing such farm needs labour, investment, dedication and hard work. When farmers are going to expand a farm with government assistance, they should visit the USDA website for possible assistance. After that, there may be other non-profit and financial institution that may provide loans or grants on much laxer terms and condition. This loan may be used for farm business as well. Getting grants for developing farm is making a difference in the overall community, bringing economic change, ensuring food sufficiency, helping others and improving standards of life for the farm business owners and those who also work there.