Funding our farm: loans, grants, and a gamble

By Caitlin Arnold, Furrow Horse Farm  When Brandon and I decided to start Furrow Horse Farm last January, we knew we were about to spend a lot of money. We were moving onto leased land that had no infrastructure, and we needed to build hoop houses and put up a deer fence. Since we had both been working for other farmers in the years after graduating from college, we didn’t have very much money saved, nor did we have inheritances or farmland... Read More

New capital for new farmers : BOOTSTRAP AT OLD HOMEPLACE FARM

By Maggie Bowling, Old Homeplace Farm The winter before we started the buying club, we counted twenty-two deer in my future vegetable field over the course of one night. I’m sure you can imagine what we chose as our very first farm investment. Will has an off-farm job as an elk biologist (yes, there are elk in Kentucky), so luckily he already had experience building deer and elk barrier fences. One-and-a-half years later, and we still haven’t... Read More

Calling All Experimenters, Tinkerers, and Innovators: SARE Has Funding for You!

Participants spread wildflower seeds that will become pollinator habitat at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm as a part of a SARE-funded project. (Photo courtesy of USDA) Did you know the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program offers grants directly to farmers? Through it’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program, SARE funds individual or groups of farmers to test solutions to their sustainable farming challenges. For example, grants could... Read More

USDA’s “Know Your Farmer” Compass Expanded

The USDA just expanded their “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Compass, an online database of resources for farmers, now including resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, EPA and many other federal agencies. The Compass is a searchable map of projects that have received some form of support for food work from the federal government.  The goal is to show the resources that the USDA – and now... Read More

Database of EQIP Deadlines Now Available From OFRF

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has compiled a one-stop database for information on applying for EQIP Organic Initiative grants, available here. EQIP – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program – supports voluntary conservation programs for farmers and ranchers.  It offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural or management practices on agricultural land.  The... Read More

The Farm Bill’s Real Impact – BFRDP Helps Train the Next Generation

My name is Sophie Ackoff, I have been an apprentice at Glynwood Farm.  Like so many other beginning farmers today, I don’t come from a farming family and I have no land or agricultural skills to inherit from my parents.  I believe that the government needs to support beginning farmers and shouldn’t short-change farmer training programs.  Please act now to send that message to Congress. I grew up in suburban Southern California, a region... Read More

USDA Funds Available for Value-Added Producers – Apply by October 15

All you beginning farmers out there with an eye towards value-added production, listen up! USDA Rural Development has published the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. The Application deadline is October 15th, 2012. In this program agricultural producers or producer groups may apply for either a feasibility study grant (maximum $100,000) or a working capital grant ($300,000 maximum).  Eligible activities... Read More

Hudson Valley Farmers Speak Up at the Farmers’ Forum

A US Farm Bill potentially worth nearly one trillion dollars over ten years has stalled in Congress, and with it the hopes of young farmers, conservationists and agriculturalists in general have stalled as well.  When Congress returns to Washington in September, they have only until the end of the month, September 30th, before the current Farm Bill expires and the country is potentially left with a radically reduced support system for farmers. ... Read More

Massachusetts Program Provides Assistance to Beginning Farmers

Attention Massachusetts farmers!  A new program developed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) aims to assist beginning farmers get started with their businesses by helping with start-up or expansion costs.  The Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA) provides technical and business planning assistance to support beginning farmers.  The goal of the MEGA Program is to assist farmers who hope to develop... Read More

Third and Final EQIP Organic Initiative Application Deadline is Approaching!

The last chance to apply for assistance through the EQIP Organic Initiative for 2012 is June 1, so if you’re interested read on and apply! EQIP, a voluntary soil, air, and water conservation program of the USDA, provides technical and financial assistance for farmers looking to implement conservation programs on their farms.  The program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (an agency within the USDA), includes an Organic... Read More

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