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Is there funding available to new agricultural operations?
Is there funding available to new agricultural operations?
A
Written by Ali Aas
Updated over a week ago

Yes! There are many grants and loans that are specifically targeted towards applicants starting new agricultural operations. Even so, it is a difficult time to get funding because you don't have an organizational history of success to back up your ambitions. In general, the way to overcome this is by showing your personal experience and competency.

Paperwork

Almost all programs that offer grants or financing to new operations will ask for paperwork in the below two categories:

  1. Documentation that shows the applicant's previous agricultural experience, such as

    • Tax Documents (Schedule F, Schedule C, 1099, W-2, etc) that show the applicant's prior employment in agriculture

      • In lieu of tax documents, applicants should seek letters of recommendation or other proof of employment from their previous agricultural employers.

    • Past acreage and yield reports, such as those associated with crop insurance

    • Invoices or other records of business in agriculture

  2. Documentation that describes a reasonable plan for the new operation's success, such as

    • A business plan

    • Project descriptions

    • Itemized Budgets

    • Examples of successful similar projects or operations

Gather as much of the above paperwork as you can to prepare for meeting with lenders and filling out grant applications.

Assisting Organizations

Almost no farmer goes it alone. Look for agricultural groups for guidance and community, either online or locally:

What if I don't have any agricultural experience?

That's ok! Every experienced farmer starts with no experience, but it's going to be hard to get a grant or loan right away. To build that experience, seek out existing operations that are hiring, seek a more experienced partner who needs something else from your existing skillset, or consider going to school for agricultural management. Like mentioned above, connecting with agricultural communities locally and online may help you find mentors and guidance.

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