Agriculture Small Business Grants

Written by clara chavez
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Agriculture Small Business Grants
Farming in America (Farmer image by Benjamin Huseman from Fotolia.com)

You can start your agriculture small business with a government grant, whether you dream to live on a small farm, feel compelled to reject city life, or see a remarkable opportunity to start a business. There are grant programs designed with the small farmer in mind, and you can find a source to fund your farm through one of these. Identifying prospective agencies depends on the type of farm you want, from a vegetable farm or goat farm to a collective group enterprise.

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State Grants

Organic agriculture is a trend that promises to be around for some time. If you design your agriculture small business with the intention of cashing in on this phenomenon, check with the USDA's Environment Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in your state for technical and monetary assistance.

You will learn about the guidelines to follow to be given the organic farm rating. That includes the preparation of soil to the maintenance of plants. These strict standards must be met and will run into costly work hours. An EQIP grant, from your state, could last for 6 years and range as high as £32,500 per year. With this money you could prepare your fields, plant your seeds and harvest the crops.

USDA Farm Grants

If sustainable farming interests you, there are federal grants available to help develop your agricultural businesses. Apply for a Community Food Projects Competitive Grant, which helps low income communities develop sustainable farming for their own food needs. The funding is from £6,500 to £195,000 and requires matching funds from non-federal monies. The funding period lasts from 1 to 3 years.

Submit the grants to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of USDA through their web site. Applications must be submitted by a non-profit entity and ideally linked to a public enterprise. A private farmer could provide acres of land for a non profit collective to use to cultivate, and grow vegetables for their families. This unique way of running an agricultural small business is beneficial to all the members, who will have fresh vegetables for their tables.

Beginning Farmer Grants

Beginning an agricultural business and finding a business start-up grant can feel overwhelming. However, if you are a part of a public or private entity, there are resources available to guide you through the entire process of developing your agricultural business. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is a competitive grant designed to educate and train new farmers by linking them to agricultural experts in their region, who act as coaches and mentors.

Participating beginning farmers and interns can even be paid to take part in the program. The funding period lasts 3 years and requires that you have verified matching funds of 25 per cent. You can apply online at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Whether you want to raise vegetables for the local restaurant market or plan to send your crops to a neighbouring state, the assistance available through this program will save you from costly mistakes.

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