financing

Beginning Farmer Loan ProgramThe Beginning Farmer Loan Program was established to help people who want to farm in Minnesota. The program offers affordable financing, a reasonable down payment and built-in safeguards, such as farm management training and financial planning to help minimize the risk all farmers face. This is a partnership approach backed by the State of Minnesota's financial participation. 

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loan ProgramsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans to beginning farmers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial lenders. 

Conservation Innovation GrantEvery day farmers and ranchers are developing creative ways to conserve the air, water, and soil on their lands. For fiscal year (FY) 2016, up to $20 million in competitive grants will be available through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to help these innovative farmers and ranchers develop pioneering conservation technologies and practices. Ten percent of the award funding will be designated for projects that assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. 

Farm Loans Fact SheetA list of information resources about federal loan programs administered through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). 

Guide to USDA FundingThe National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems is a great resource which overviews grants and loans from: the Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program; Specialty Crop Block Grants; Farmers Market Promotion Program; Federal State Marketing Improvement Program; Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (also see above); Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program; Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Value Added Producer Grants; Rural Business Enterprise Grants; Rural Business Opportunity Grants; Rural Cooperative Development Grants; Community Facilities Grant Program; Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants; Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Programs; Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers; as well as Regional Resources. 

Minnesota State Grants for Family Farmers: A list of grant opportunities for family farms organized by the Land Stewardship Project. Working with the Minnesota Legislature, the Land Stewardship Project has attempted to ensure that grant opportunities include and preference family farms and sustainable agriculture.

National Young Farmers CoalitionNYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. They envision a country where young people who are willing to work, get trained and take a little risk can support themselves and their families in farming. This guide helps young people find credit and capital to build their own farms. 

Know Your Farmer, Know Your FoodKnow Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) is helping communities scale up local and regional food systems and strengthen their economies. USDA has many financial resources available to support this work, but determining which is right is no small task. KYF2 wants to simplify the process and help communities put USDA programs to work for them. This page lists over two dozen programs at USDA that can help build local and regional food systems. This list is not the entirety of USDA's offerings, but it is a great starting place. 

Natural Resources Conservation Service Funding OpportunitiesNRCS's natural resources conservation programs help farmers reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damage caused by floods and other natural disasters by providing both financial and technical assistance to eligible producers. 

Sustainable Agriculture Resource & Education Grants and Travel ScholarshipsThe Minnesota SARE program funds sustainable agriculture education and outreach in Minnesota, with the primary goal of supporting educator activities and professional development through train-the-trainer opportunities. This includes Mini Grant and Travel Scholarship funds for agriculture professionals (i.e. Extension, NRCS, state and tribal agencies, NGOs, etc.) and farmers to build their awareness, knowledge, and skills related to sustainable agriculture concepts.