Young Farmer Grant Program

The National Young Farmers Coalition is partnering with Chipotle to offer $5,000 grants to 50 young farmers and ranchers to support them in building careers in agriculture.

About the Program

The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is launching a new grant program to help young and beginning farmers and ranchers start up and grow their businesses. In 2020 Young Farmers will provide 50 farmers and ranchers $5,000 grants. Grant recipients will also receive a one-year membership to the National Young Farmers Coalition.

This fund can be used for anything that will further your goals as a farmer, even if that means just getting started. The goal of this fund is to provide financial assistance for any cost that currently limits your ability to start, run, or grow your operation in the way you’d like.

Grant funding may support completing a project, purchasing a new piece of equipment, covering operating costs such as seeds and compost, building new infrastructure, attending a farmer training program or conference, hiring additional farm labor, or covering personal finances that stand in the way of farm success, including but not limited to childcare, housing, or student loan payments. Funds, once awarded, may be used to match other grant opportunities.

2020 applications are closed. Winners will be announced May 8, 2020.

 

Qualifications for Applicants

  • Anyone who is a young farmer or rancher (40 years old and under). Why young farmers?
  • Applicant must be the business/operation owner or plan to start their own operation in 2020. Farmer owners of cooperative farms, and farm managers of non-profits are also are qualified to apply.
  • Applicant must use farm practices that protect natural resources for future generations.
  • Applicant must be farming or ranching in one of the 50 U.S. states.
  • There are no preferences for what applicants produce on their operations.
  • We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, other farmers of color and/or farmers who are facing significant structural barriers to existing funding opportunities and success in agriculture to apply.

Participation Rules and Requirements

  • Grant recipients will be required to submit a brief written report (300 words) in November 2020 detailing how the funds were used.
  • Applicants must submit a photo with their application. If the applicant is selected, their name and photo will be included in a public announcement of grant recipients on youngfarmers.org and on Chipotle and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation websites. Grant recipients may opt out of sharing their story and photo after this initial announcement.
  • The National Young Farmers Coalition, Chipotle, and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation will work with some grant recipients to share their stories nationally through their communications channels. Grant recipients may choose to opt out of this coverage.
  • Only one grant will be given per farm entity in the case that multiple owners of the same business apply.

Please note that grants of this kind are taxable income. Grant recipients will need to supply a W9 form (including a SSN or ITIN number) in order to receive a check.

 

Selection Process

Grant applications will be reviewed by National Young Farmers Coalition staff and a national review committee including a representative from Soul Fire Farm Institute. The review committee members will be diverse in ethnic background, perspective and experience.

These grants are available to farmers of all races and gender identities. To ensure that our grants are contributing to ending inequity in access to agricultural careers, we commit to providing a minimum of 50% of our grants to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, and 50% of grants to female-identifying, non-binary, and trans farmers. These are not mutually exclusive identity categories and should not be understood as adding up to 100% of available grants.

 

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on how well your answers address each of the criteria below.

  • Contribution to Farmer Goals

These funds are designed to help you get closer to achieving your goals as a farmer. A strong application will illustrate how the use of these funds will contribute to the goals you outline in your application.

  • Addressing Challenges and Barriers to Success

Priority of selection will be given to applicants who can illustrate how these funds will be used to address a particular challenge they are facing in moving their business forward and the results or changes they expect to see with this funding.

  • Sustainability

One requirement of this grant is that you are making, or intend to make, steps on your operation to preserve and potentially even improve the natural resources of the land for future generations. Your ability to illustrate how you currently implement, or plan to implement, sustainable or regenerative farming practices will contribute to the strength of your application.

  • Financial Need

Because a $5,000 grant with few restrictions on its use is such a unique opportunity to meet costs unmet by other funding options, we will prioritize applicants for whom this money will make a significant difference in their financial ability to meet their goals. 

Note on Language

Though we encourage you to take time and care in writing your application, we will not be evaluating applications by the quality of the prose, but by the content of the proposal. Take advantage of the narrative questions to paint a picture of your operation, your personal and professional goals, and the challenges you face in reaching them. Feel free to write in whatever style or language feels truest and most comfortable to you.

If you have any questions please reach out to faith@youngfarmers.org.

 

Thank you to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation for providing vision and funding for this program. 

 

And thank you to Soul Fire Farm Institute for advising on this program.

 

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