Ready to expand your homestead into an income-generating farm? That’s great!
I know it’s expensive and stressful to finance such an expansion. The cost of land, seed, feed, animals, equipment, and labor can put your farming dreams on the back burner for years.
What would you say if I told you there’s a way to get your farm without back-breaking debt?
The USDA offers grants to aspiring farmers. Unlike loans, grant money doesn’t have to be paid back. That means you can score your farm essentially for free.
Of course, USDA farm grants are incredibly competitive. Who doesn’t like free money, after all?
Nevertheless, the farm grant process can make your farming dreams come true without the debt. Follow these steps to find a grant for your farm-to-be.
Step 1: Research
Head over to Grants.gov to see what types of grants are available. The USDA will list their open grants, as well as grant amounts and requirements. Most importantly, check out the grant requirements. These will inform how you proceed.
Step 2: Make a business plan
Make a list of the grants you qualify for. Use this grant to plan how you’ll improve your land. Often grants are geared to specific farms, so make sure your plan matches up with the grant requirements.
Create a formal business plan with this information. This shows the USDA how you plan to actually generate income with the grant. Include estimated costs, revenue, labor costs, and your day-to-day operations.
Step 3: Apply for the grant
Follow the grant directions verbatim. Include every piece of information they request. Grants will often include your goals, an executive summary, project overview, timeline, and estimated costs.
Step 4: Receive and repeat
Once you receive your grant, congratulations! You’ll now need to document how you’ve used the funds. Document your financials in an easy, clear way. Do a good job and the USDA will be more likely to give you grants in the future.