How to Apply for a Farmer's Grant

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Farmhouse (Image: old farming house in spring countryside image by Jaroslav Machacek from Fotolia.com)

In applying for farming grants, farmers must seek advice from a crop consultant, plan a budget, research which grants he or she is qualified to receive, approach the right farming organizations and agencies to be awarded the grant.

Crop Consultancy

Get advice from a crop consultant. Crop consultants are a priceless link to farming funds. Scheduling an appointment with a crop consultant puts the farmer ahead of the game in being granted a grant. On the farm, the crop consultant evaluates the soil quality, fertilizer, pests, weed, seed potential, yield, and agricultural technology. This holistic assessment aids in lending credence to the farmer’s need and adds more favor to the grant application. Crop consultant associations are manifold: the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants as well as the state-specific consultant association nearest the farmer e.g. Minnesota Independent Crop Consultant Association.

Plan a budget. Budget planning is indispensable when applying for farm grants. The farmer has to estimate what the budget is going to cover and tabulate the overall cost of the project. Making a financial plan, estimating cost of raw material, operation, and recurrent expenses place the farmer in an advantageous position of trustworthiness, responsibility, and accountability. Agencies demand proper accountability practices when they donate a grant. Management techniques, detailing expenditure, and recording results establishes credibility and improves the likelihood for another awarded grant. In drafting a spending plan, the purpose and distribution of the money must be clear.

A. Find out which grants you are eligible to apply for. Farmers initiating enterprises receive stimulus checks from programs such as the Small Farmers Success project and the Farm Ownership Loans. Also when pests attack, there is a pest removal loan to fund the purchase of insecticide, pesticide, and disinfectants. e.g. Boll Weevil Eradication Loan. When a farmer decides to upscale the farm or alter farming techniques, the US Department of Agriculture fertilizes his financial soil with grants. In extensive farming, where farm laborers and farmer share the same estate, farming labor housing loans and grants come in handy. The US Agriculture market, being a breadbasket to the world, exports and continues to inject funds in marketing American produce. For instance, the Emerging Markets Program and the Federal-state Marketing Improvement Program.

Locate agricultural-based funding bodies. Agencies and organizations which promote farmers and farming projects are the government under the US Department of Agriculture. In turn, the Department of Agriculture parcels out funding to farming associations such as the Farm Services Agency (FSA), the State Cooperative Office, the Quaker Simple Farmer Education Fund, the Organic Farming Research Foundation, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Farm Aid, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Compliance and Enforcement Assurance, ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas Project) now known as The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, the Farmer-Rancher Grant Program, Beginning Farmers Inc. etc.

Fill out the application forms. Download the forms on the sponsor’s website. You should have Adobe’s pdf software already on your desktop. If not, install. Click on this link and a grant form should automatically upload to your computer. Keep all application deadlines in mind and submit. http://www.agr.state.il.us/C2000/common/SAguidelines.pdf

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