About Grants

Not all activities are eligible for grants, Find out what you can and cannot do

Please Note:

As with ANY business, there are generally NOT grants to start a farm or ranch. In general, most funding available to individuals/businesses for start-up is in the form of loans. However, a few grant programs are open to farmers that are willing to do research and/or value-added product development related to their operations. Grant programs open to farmers and ranchers (as businesses or individuals) require applicants to meet specific criteria and serve a specific purpose as outlined in the grant.

Before you apply for a grant, you should also consider:

  • The grant process is competitive. Grant announcements must be monitored, grant proposals must be prepared and planned for, and applications must meet exact guidelines and be submitted on time. Grants are not a fast procedure, so plan in advance.
  • Most grants will only pay a percentage of costs, not 100%. You must be able to make up the difference.
  • Once awarded, grant recipients must meet outcomes, record keeping, reporting, and activity requirements associated with their grant.
  • Any grant funds you receive from the USDA and other organizations will be reported to the IRS on a form 1099.  Therefore, you will need to report the income and associated expenses on your farm income tax return.

Remember, before pursuing financing of any type, farm and ranch business owners should have a detailed business plan and have carefully reviewed all financial requirements, including, if borrowing, their ability to repay.

"The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program provides payments to producers to support and expand production of advanced biofuels refined from sources other than corn kernel starch. The Program supports and helps to ensure the expanding production of advanced biofuels by providing payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers."

Sponsoring Organization:

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Producer Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.

Sponsoring Organization:

"USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service offered the seasonal high tunnels (officially called “seasonal high tunnel system for crops”) as a conservation practice for the first time in 2010 as part of a three-year trial to determine their effectiveness in conserving water, keeping nutrients in the soil, increasing yields, and reducing transp

Sponsoring Organization:

"Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative, the USDA Natrual Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides assistance to eligible producers for installation of conservation practices on organic or agricultural operations transitioning to organic production.

Sponsoring Organization:

"The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides both loan guarantees and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy au

Sponsoring Organization:

"Grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy.

Sponsoring Organization: