Many producers ask our team what types of projects can be funded by various government grant programs. The short answer is that there are tons of project ideas that are competitive for federal grant funding. We wrote this quick guide to explore just a few options, bucketed across three areas below.
Stay tuned for future posts as we will be putting out a series of case studies to explore project ideas in greater depth!
The USDA-SARE program (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) provides grant funding to farmers and ranchers to undertake research projects oriented at their farm’s economic, environmental and human sustainability. This gives producers many options when applying for SARE grants. There’s only one expectation: you must be committed to reporting your research results to SARE and hosting a field day or some kind of outreach effort to engage other producers in your efforts.
That makes the SARE program a great option if you’re looking to improve some aspect of production on your land. The below examples provide just a few of the ideas you might pursue with a SARE grant:
With the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) offered by the USDA Rural Development office, producers can receive funding to either a) assess the feasibility of expanding into a new market or product or b) deploy working capital to implement a new market or product opportunity. Examples of successful past projects include:
The USDA-NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) offers billions of dollars in financial assistance each year to help producers and landowners better steward their land. NRCS programs like EQIP and CSP deliver needed financial and technical assistance to producers to address priority resource concerns. These resource concerns are unique to your land, though each NRCS state and county office will have its own unique ranking of priority funding areas. Some examples of EQIP-funded projects include:
We hope that you’re feeling inspired by the fact that there are so many projects eligible for government grant funding. Spend a few minutes jotting down your ideas for projects you want to implement on your farm, then sign up for FarmRaise to see which programs you’re eligible for and then book a consultation with our team to get planning!
Most farmers have heard of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, for short. This is the USDA’s flagship cost-share program that pays for on-farm infrastructure upgrades and better farm management practices, including new fencing and water systems, cover crops, improved nutrient management, wildlife buffers, and precision irrigation.
The carbon credit marketplace is heating up but clear information on the key players and their relative benefits is sparse and convoluted. As many of you have likely learned – Google searches won’t get you very far here.