Your E-mail:
Hobby Farms - Current Issue

Printer Friendly

$17 Million in Grants Available

Program funds to help beginning farmers and ranchers with education, training, technical assistance; in 2010, another $19 million will be available.


Beginning farmers can apply for USDA grants in 2009 and 2010
Photo courtesy USDA

If you've been farming for 10 years or less, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program could have a grant for you.

Funding through government programs may not be available for individual applicants.

The first thing any potential applicant will want to do is obtain additional information about eligibility and how to apply.

<< Read about another grant program >>
The program is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers -specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or less, according to the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. In 2009, $17 million is available; another $19 million, approved by congress in the Farm Bill, will be available in 2010.

This year's applications are due May 13. Funding is available to state, local, tribal, regional, nonprofit and community-based organizations, academic institutions, and networks of appropriate private and public organizations, according to the USDA.

USDA says it's looking for proposals from these areas:

  • Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;

  • Resources and referrals;

  • Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers;

  • Innovative farm and ranch transfer strategies;

  • Entrepreneurship and business training;

  • Model land leasing contracts;

  • Financial management training;

  • Whole farm planning;

  • Conservation assistance;

  • Risk management education;

  • Diversification and marketing strategies;

  • Curriculum development;

  • Understanding the impact of concentration and globalization;

  • Basic livestock and crop farming practices;

  • The acquisition and management of agricultural credit;

  • Environmental compliance;

  • Information processing; and

  • Other similar areas that would be useful to beginners. 

The projects will be limited to three years. Budget requests in the proposals must not exceed $250,000 per year.

Note on Eligibility
According to the USDA:

"The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply. Please refer to Part III of the current BFRDP Request for Applications for complete eligibility requirements."

Visit this page for all the details: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/beginningfarmerandrancher.cfm

 Give us your opinion on
$17 Million in Grants Available

Submit a Comment
Reader Comments
Me and my wife have a small farm with a little of every thing from potbelly pigs to alpacas and would like to have help for shelter and fencing for our animals.
Richard, Hamilton, AL
Posted: 3/25/2015 12:36:22 PM
Terry, we wish you the best of luck as you search for funding. Here are some articles we've posted about securing grants. I hope they help!

- 5 Steps to Writing a Farm Grant (LINK )

- 6 Beginning Farmer Tips for Securing Farm Funding (LINK )
Hobby Farms Editor, Lexington, KY
Posted: 3/18/2014 6:21:43 AM
My wife and I own a small 30 acre cattle ranch in Summertown TN. She wants to start by raising pure bred galaways. We bought the ranch 2 years ago. We need a tractor, funds for fencing and a livestock barn as well as gates and scales. She has run the math and can run approx. 25 head of cattle making a profit of 45000.00 per year after 3 years. I told her that there may be grants available for women who want to become ranchers. I am all in if we can get the funding.
Terry, Summertown, TN
Posted: 3/17/2014 11:25:21 PM
My husband and I just bought an acre of land to use for growing hard to find super fruits such as blackcurrants, red currants, elderberries, and others. We plan on selling the products made from these fruits at farmers markets in our area. What type of grants are available for this type of small operation?
Colleen, Knoxville, TN
Posted: 9/18/2013 1:01:23 AM
View Current Comments

Zip Code:

Product Spotlight
Hobby Farm Rewards 
Member Login »


Information on over 200 horse breeds