An increasing number of grant programs are available to farmers from federal or state sources each with specific objectives. Grants fall into the three general types: 1) grants for business planning, adding value and increasing farm viability; 2) grants for on-farm research and demonstration projects that are mostly production oriented though some include marketing demonstration projects; and 3) grants for farm energy conservation, alternative energy, environmental protection/conservation and waste management. [Learn more]
If you reach the stage where you’re ready for a loan, you will need to present potential investors or lenders with a solid business plan that exhibits a realistic strategy for paying it off. Here are a few loan options: [Learn More]
Farm Finance Webinars
|Free Money? Finding the Right Grants, Cost-Share Programs, and Low-Interest Loans for Your Farm Business –Liz Higgins||Liz Higgins, a Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Team, shares programs and tips to help you find a good fit for your farm financing needs. This was presented in Feb 2017 as an in-person workshop at Broome County CCE. Webinar Recording.|
|Kiva Zip: Crowd-funded 0% Interest Microloans –Lauryn Drainie||Loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest and no credit check. Sound like a scam? It’s not! Come learn about Kiva Zip, whose mission is to reinsert human relationships into the world of financial capital. The Cornell Small Farms Program is a Kiva Zip Trustee. Webinar Recording.|
|Creative Financing, Complementary Financing: Ways for Farms to Acquire Capital for Start-up and Operations –Ben Waterman||This webinar explores unconventional ways of financing a farm, including community financing, owner financed sales and land contracts, loans from individuals, multi-year CSA shares, share leases, and crowd funding. Slides.|
|Microloans from the Farm Service Agency –Christy Marshall||Farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain credit from another lender to start, purchase, sustain, or expand their family farm may be able to get a loan through FSA’s Farm Loan Programs. Webinar Recording.|
Your Guide to Farm Service Agency Farm Loans
The guide, which provides information about FSA’s farm loans and loan servicing options, is designed for people who need assistance starting, expanding, transitioning or improving a farm or ranch. A list of additional resources is also included. The guide is available at:
Food Hub Funding Guide
The office of U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York has released a 43-page publication titled A Guide to Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Food Hubs and Food Systems. The guidebook details information on grants, loans, and tax credits from numerous federal agencies. Download the guide at http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov
Barnraiser: Crowdsourcing for Agricultural Projects
So you want to build the hoophouse of your dreams or start a teaching garden but lack the funds? The new site Barnraiser aims to help agriculture projects get off the ground through crowdsourcing. Barnraiser, which hopes to be the Kickstarter of the local and sustainable foods movement, launches September 9, 2014. It is both a platform for funding food-system related projects as well as a community for sharing news and connecting people who care about such issues. Visit the page at https://www.barnraiser.us/.
Kiva US: Innovations in Person-to-Person Lending
Kiva is a global micro-lender, supporting entrepreneurs with small 0% interest loans. The loans are crowd-sourced, and amounts are available up to $10,000 for farmers. Repayment is via monthly payments over a 2-3-year period, with a 6-mo grace period before the first payment is due. Unlike other loans, Kiva loans do not require good credit history or a business plan; they operate on social capital. Each loan starts with a private fundraising period where borrowers must seek lenders from their own network of friends, family and customers. The Cornell Small Farms Program is a Kiva Trustee and can endorse borrowers to boost their credibility among potential lenders. All students completing our online courses are eligible for endorsement for a Kiva loan. Visit https://www.kiva.org/borrow/6HY6Em8qvPwvzc3U3bqbonjC for more info.