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Funds for Farmers
See our website for the most up-to-date funding information
arming is a business, and like most businesses, it is rare
to receive grant funds to support operations, purchase land or
improve buildings. However, there are opportunities for farmers
to receive grant support for on-farm research projects, business
planning, conservation, and some kinds of marketing support. The
following list outlines where to look for dollars to support these
kinds of activities. For the most up-to-date funding announcements, and/or to find individual program websites and electronic
applications, visit the MOSES Funds for Farmers page online (see
the link above). If you have questions, please contact a MOSES
organic specialist: [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected] mosesorganic.org.
Grants for Producers
Conservation Stewardship Program
Funding provided to farmers on a per acre basis, rewarding farmers
for current good conservation practices on crop or forest land with
cash incentives for new conservation activities. Application rankings and payments are higher when the farmer adds on these further
conservation enhancements. Signups are continuous throughout the
year, with specific deadlines for application rankings. Contact your
local county NRCS office http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP is a working lands conservation program that offers financial
and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural
land. Any farmer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes horticultural
or commodity crops; rangeland; pasture; private non-industrial
forestland; and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the
Secretary of Ag. For more info go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Assistance to help with the cost of organic certification is offered to organic producers and/or organic handlers through the
State Dept. of Ag. Recipients must receive initial certification or
continuation of certification from a USDA accredited certifying agent. Program participants may be reimbursed for up to
75% of their organic certification costs for each certification
category (ex.crops and livestock), not to exceed $750 per year.
For more information, call your state department of agriculture
and ask for the person who works with organic agriculture.
Organic Valley’s Farmers Advocating for Organics (FAFO)
A grant fund open to all applicants seeking funding for projects or
programs oriented towards protecting, safeguarding, and advancing the organic marketplace through research, education and/or
advocacy. FAFO is a voluntary fund contributed to only by Organic
Valley and Organic Prairie farmer-members. Once gathered, FAFO
funds are distributed by a nine-member farmer committee. The
FAFO Committee is interested in hearing from individuals, universities, public/private schools, NGOs, farmers and consumers who are
interested in securing funds for their organic specific projects. For
more information on application criteria or contact information, go to
http://www.organicvalley.coop/newsroom/press-releases/details/article/farmers-advocating-for-organics-plans-for-1-million-in-grantawards-for-organic-education-advocac/ or call (888) 444-6455.
Specialty Crop Block Grants
Grants of up to three years and $100,000 for projects that increase the competitiveness of specialty crops (non-commodity)
in areas such as addressing good agricultural practices, research
on crop productivity or quality, enhancing access to federal nutrition programs, pest and disease management, or commodityspecific projects addressing common issues. Grant funds will not be
awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial
product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution,
or individual. Contact your state department of agriculture.
Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)
Grants may be used for planning activities, for working capital to
market value-added agricultural products, and for farm-based
renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers,
farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and
majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Although
smaller projects may be funded, multi-year and larger projects can
also fit this program, however a large match of funds is required. The
application deadline is generally in mid-summer. For more info about
the program, contact your State Rural Development Office at (800)
670-6553 or go to the http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_vapg.html
Grants for Research
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
This non-profit foundation sponsors research, including farmer-directed research related to organic farming practices. Proposals are considered twice a year in
May and November. For more information, call 831-4266606, email [email protected] or go to www.ofrf.org
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
SARE is a program providing grants to researchers, agricultural
educators, farmers and ranchers, and students in the U.S. Farmer
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) | PO BOX 339, Spring Valley, WI
715-778-5775 | [email protected] | www.mosesorganic.org
project grant requests are generally due in the late fall. For more
information, call 612-626-3113 or go to www.sare.org/ncrsare.
Wisconsin Grants
Buy Local Buy Wisconsin (BWBL)
Supports projects likely to stimulate Wisconsin’s agricultural economy by increasing the purchase of WI grown or
produced food by local food buyers. Pre-proposals will be accepted from individuals, groups, businesses and organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture, agritourism, food
retailing, processing, distribution or warehousing. Contact
Teresa Engel at 608-224-5101, [email protected],
[email protected] or go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/
Grow Wisconsin Dairy Producer Grants
The Grow Wisconsin Dairy Grant is a flexible, customizable
grant available to producers to retain farms, facilitate operational changes, improve profitability and yield more milk. This
grant can be customized to meet the needs of individual farms
and can be applied to hire consultants with a range of expertise to address specific business needs. These available services
and grant funds are grouped into two categories that focus on
changes or efforts related to: 1) Planning and preparation for
business management, development and growth; and 2) Improving profitability through on-farm production and aspects
related to the day-to-day farm operation. Up to $5,000 grant to
be applied towards business development and expansion needs.
Wisconsin Producers First Technical Assistance Program
Supports Wisconsin local food producers. Successful applicants
will identify a need for technical assistance and receive up to
$3000 to hire a consultant to address that need. A matching payment of at least 10% is required from producers. Examples include:
accounting and financial organization, business planning, food
safety, grant writing assistance, legal services, market development, packaging and label development, whole farm planning, etc.
Any WI farmer or producer may apply. Preference to producers selling at least 75% of their products to be consumed within 300 miles of the farm. To apply visit http://
Technical_Assistance/index.aspx Contact Teresa Engel at
(608) 224-5101, [email protected] with questions.
ernization activities of MN dairy farms.
Eligible applicants include existing and start-up MN dairy
producers. This program covers 50% of the cost of completing a
business plan for a dairy operation. Applicants will be required
to contribute at least 50% of the total project costs from sources
other than the State of MN. Covers the cost of having a qualified, independent third party provide the professional services
necessary to assist the applicant in evaluating the start-up,
modernization or expansion of a dairy farm. For example, costs
associated with developing a business plan that fully examines the feasibility of the proposed venture would be eligible.
Livestock Investment Grants
Current funding information is not available.
These grants are available to persons or entities who raise livestock in Minnesota for the purposes of improving or expanding
livestock production in Minnesota. Projects include the acquisition, construction, or improvement of buildings or facilities for the
production of livestock or livestock products; the acquisition of
equipment for livestock housing, confinement, feeding, and waste
management; or the development of pasture for use by livestock.
Beginning, as well as experienced farmers are invited to apply. See
Additional Resources
Center for Rural Affairs
The Center for Rural Affairs works to establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all. See www.
Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching
This 28-page ATTRA guide offers an overview of the major federal conservation programs that provide resources
for farmers/ranchers to enhance and maintain sustainable farming and ranching practices. Download a copy at
Farm Aid
This non-profit organization works to keep family farmers on their land. Call 1-800-FARMAID, email [email protected] or go to www.farmaid.org.
Minnesota Grants
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)
AURI provides applied research services, product development assistance and a targeted network of resources to
develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts. Applicants are required to match contributions and work
with AURI personnel in developing the value added project. For more information, call 507-835-8990 or go
to www.auri.org.
Dairy Business Planning Grant
Encourages dairy business planning and mod-
Visit www.mosesorganic.org for more resources
our Organic
and Sustainable
the Organic
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provides Newspaper.
a variety of resources
our annual
for farmers
in Farming
organic and
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© 2014 MOSES
-updated January