Feeding the nation is a top priority for those interested in pursuing a cattle grant. There are grants available at the national, state and local levels. While a specific grant may not help you purchase your livestock, it may help you with building the facilities for keeping your stock healthy. Constant research into the types of grants available and understanding whether you can qualify for a specific grant are key to writing a winning proposal.
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Your local USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office has programs available to help you with your cattle. These grant programs offer technical assistance as well as cost-share grants to improve your rangeland, water and soil-conservation efforts. The Pasture, Forage and Rangeland Systems grant is available in many states for individuals to improve the land use for cattle, and is just one of the grant programs available through the NRCS.
Sustainable Research and Education
The USDA Sustainable Research and Education grants are available to individuals for on-site experiments to improve their operations and the environment. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are up to $15,000 for individuals. As an example, an acceptable grant proposal might be to develop a wind-generated electrical system for irrigation that could be used as as a model to educate other local farmers in the benefits of such a project.
State Resources for Cattle Grants
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides links to individual state resources for grants and aid to cattle ranches. When looking for grants and funding for your cattle operation, begin with your state's agricultural college and county extension offices. For example, in New Mexico, you may want to contact the Small Farm Institute (SFI). The SFI is a relatively new initiative that strives to educate and apply research to help the state's small farmers and ranchers improve their profitability.
Grant Cycles and Deadlines
Grants come in cycles that are usually based on a calendar year. If you miss the deadline for this year's grant submission, mark it on your calendar so you can submit it the following year. Be sure to research which grants were funded, and see if you can determine why the proposal was successful. This will help you with your application for the next submission phase.