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Farm Cooperative Grants Opportunities

Farm Cooperative Grants Opportunities

ALBA Organics allows migrant laborers the chance to work for themselves

ALBA Organics is granting subsidized leases on farmland to longtime laborers.

In northern California, a new program is giving much needed opportunity to farm laborers.

ALBA Organics is leasing organic farmland at subsidized prices to laborers who would otherwise be in the fields, picking lettuce, celery, or spinach, from dawn until dusk. The laborers, many of whom have emigrated from Mexico, work the land as independents, and then sell their produce back to the ALBA Organics cooperative.

The cooperative also provides training to new farmers, as well as supplying them with things like fertilizer and irrigation tools. And while the subsidized rate of lease only lasts the first few years, it might be the leg-up some farmers need to get their start.

The program aims to give longtime migrant workers the tools to become autonomous in business. It appears to have had some amount of success too, as 90 ALBA-trained farmers have successfully been able to start independent farms off-site from the cooperative since the program’s initiation in 2002.


Never before has our work as farmers and stewards been so important.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has many wondering what they can, and should, do. We are working to provide you with information and resources to help guide the farming community.

Testimonial on Small Farm Learning Opportunities

"It was validating to hear from experienced farmers that farming is so much of an art
form. That gives me more confidence to dive in and find the balance between technical
research and getting on the learning curve."


Farm Loans offer access to funding for a wide range of farmer needs, from securing land to financing the purchase of equipment. Targeted funds are set aside for groups that have been historically underserved, while there are specific loans available for youth agricultural projects and Native American Tribes.

Browse all the available farm loans below to get connected with financing options specific to your current needs. If you already have an existing loan, you can securely view loan details and other financial information. Sign in or create a farmers.gov account to use this feature.

Land Purchase or Construction Project

Direct Farm Ownership Loans provide financing to secure farm land, improve or expand current operations, increase agricultural productivity, and assist with land tenure to save farmland for future generations. The maximum amount available to qualified borrowers is $600,000.

Direct Farm Ownership Microloans are available for the same needs but limited to $50,000. The application process is simpler and requires less paperwork to complete.

Equipment, Seed, Livestock, and Other Operating Costs

Direct Farm Operating Loans offer financing to purchase equipment, seed, livestock, other necessities to maintain a successful farm and refinancing farm related debts. The maximum amount available to qualified borrowers is $400,000.

Direct Farm Operating Microloans are available for the same needs but limited to $50,000. The application process is simpler and requires less paperwork to complete.

Youth Loans

Youth Loans offer financing up to $5,000 to aspiring farmers between the ages of 10 and 20, in connection with their participation in 4-H, FFA, Tribal youth group, or other similar agricultural youth organization.


How to Get Funding

Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production Competitive Grants

Program Planning Projects will initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Projects may target areas of food access education business and start-up costs for new farmers and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.

Implementation Projects will accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Projects will improve local food access and collaborate with partner organizations and may support infrastructure needs emerging technologies educational endeavors and urban farming policy implementation.

Deadlines have passed for Fiscal Year 2020 grants and cooperative agreements. The FY 2020 selected applicants are listed below.

Planning Project Selected Applicants

Organization Name

Project Name

Project Description

The New Haven Urban Agriculture Master Plan - Creating a Blueprint for Equitable Urban Agricultural Growth in New Haven, Conn.

The city’s Food System Policy Division will develop the first New Haven Urban Agriculture Master Plan. The plan will be used to access land and opportunities to increase the production and sale of locally grown foods, build community, improve public health and well-being, and provide economic opportunity, particularly in areas with vacant land and limited food access.

Center for Land-Based Learning

Urban Agriculture Assessment and Recommendations: Connecting Urban Farmers with Broderick/Bryte Community to Improve Community Food Access, Nutrition Education, and Economic Development

The Center for Land-Based Learning will produce a comprehensive urban agriculture assessment of West Sacramento. It will map and document current activities, identify opportunities for growth, and include recommendations to bolster the layers of positive impact urban agriculture has on communities.

Community Learning Farm Planning Project

The project supports a strategic planning process, including a feasibility study and stakeholder assessment, for the development of a community learning farm. A site development plan t hat will create community access and opportunities will also be created for the both the physical site and for programming .

Implementation Projects Selected Applicants

Organization Name

Project Name

Project Description

Urban Hydroponic Agriculture in NYC Public School Classrooms

NY Sun Works will work with Brooklyn public schools: three elementary, three middle schools, and three high schools. The project will implement a year-round urban farming program, integrate a hands-on urban farming program into school curricula, launch a Harvest program to engage the greater community, and create a hands-on hydroponic farming job training certification program at the high schools.

Association of Africans Living in Vermont

New Farms for New Americans: Improving Lands, Improving Lives

New Farms for New Americans provides garden plots to approximately 70 households on five acres of leased land to support food production and community building for new Americans facing food insecurity and chronic health issues. The project will build upon the existing garden infrastructure to improve local food access, offer a 48-week agriculture program for refugee farmers focusing on food systems and nutrition, and establish a leadership/mentorship program with the Vermont Community Garden Network. Over 250 people of multiple ages, over seven languages and five ethnic groups will be reached.

Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light

Building a Network of Growers to Improve Access to Local Food

Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light will collaborate with partners to improve access to local food , foster a network of urban gardeners and farmers who share resources and knowledge , assist local growers with building infrastructure , expand and improve community gardens to become self-sustainable , educate the community on food systems and the nutritional value of plant-rich diets , share knowledge of environmental benefits of local agricultural production , offer hands-on learning in organic farming , mentor youth and young adults interested in urban agricultural occupations , and engage more people in local food production.

Famicos Foundation works to improve lives in greater Cleveland through neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and integrated social services. The project will reinvigorate the garden at the Michael R. White STEM School using emerging technologies to produce healthy, fresh food for area residents, provide a STEM education opportunity, offer jobs to local youth, and generate income at Famicos’ Gateway 105 Market.

Eastside Hyper-Local Food System Project

Greenleaf Community Farm serves as a hub for connecting and supporting entrepreneurial food projects and closing the food system gap in Atlanta City Council District 5. The project includes a community farm, a payflex farm stand, and a community gathering space to connect and educate residents. It will also expand the Edible Neighborhoods program to provide equitable access to fresh produce, educate residents on edible landscaping, and serve as an entry point into the food system.

Common Ground Producers and Growers

Common Ground Urban Innovation Project

The Common Ground Mobile Market will provide fresh produce to food desert s and food insecure areas in targeted urban zip codes in Wichita and Sedgwick Count ies . The project will facilitate entrepreneurial projects through job training, use of farm equipment and land, mentoring and other business development assistance to new and beginning farmers. The mobile market will partner with the K-State Extension Growing Growers program, which provides an apprentice to help with the market and offer training in farming and gardening.

Parkside Business & Community in Partnership

The Camden Urban Agriculture Leadership Pipeline Project

The project will build a “pipeline” of programs that guide residents of the low-income, low food-access City of Camden on a pathway from resident, to gardener, to farmer, and eventually to community urban agriculture leader. The project will facilitate entrepreneurial projects by offering apprenticeships that will provide job training, equipment, business skills, leadership training, and mentoring educate the community garden hubs using an existing network of nonprofit-run gardens and farms and assist food producers and community organizations with policies that enable urban agriculture to thrive.

Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project Cooperative Agreements

  • May 17, 2021 News Release: USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (View the Opportunity on Grants.gov)
  • A pre-recorded webinar explaining the details of the cooperative agreements will be posted here shortly.

These cooperative agreements intend to solicit applications and fund pilot projects in no fewer than 10 states. The primary goal is to assist local and municipal governments with projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. Implementation activities will increase access to compost for agricultural producers, improve soil quality and encourages innovative, scalable waste management plans that reduce and divert food waste from landfills.

2020 Selections

Organization Name

Project Name

Project Description

Prescott Community Compost Program

The city will collaborate with the Prescott Farmers Market, volunteers, restaurants, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension , and Prescott College to design, build and implement the Prescott Community Compost Program. The program will educate the community about composting, reduce food waste by collecting and composting restaurant food scraps, and provide high-quality compost to gardeners and farmers in Central Yavapai County. The program anticipates 28 tons of finished compost over the two-year program.

New Haven Community Composting Collaborative

The project will bring together local organizations to expand community composting and growing local food. Goals include reducing food waste generating high-quality compost to support urban agriculture and gardening in New Haven , and convening a Community Composting Collaborative to explore scaling up food waste composting.

Restore Colorado: A Table to Farm Movement

Boulder County and collaborating nonprofits Mad Agriculture (Mad Ag) and Zero Foodprint will create a more circular food economy in which restaurants and consumers provide funding to incentivize healthy soil and conservation practices. Under the “Restore Colorado” campaign, restaurants will be invited to collect an additional 1% fee from customer bills to fund regenerative farm projects.

Partnerships for Food Resource Recovery

The City of Lawrence Municipal Services & Operations will partner with Just Food on a food waste collection pilot to incorporate into its yard waste compost facility establish a farm gleaning program to provide produce to clients of Just Food, Lawrence Community Shelter, and Sunrise Project and encourage farmer and gardener access to the composting facility.

DSNY-BRS Big Reuse Compost Drop-Offs, Processing, Distribution

DSNY will collaborate with nonprofit composting organization Big Reuse to establish 20 food scrap drop-off locations at community gardens, libraries, residential buildings, and nonprofits near their compost sites. NYC Parks Department will divert wood chips and leaves from landfill disposal. GreenThumb, Brooklyn Grange, Hellgate Farms, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and other urban farms will distribute compost for food production in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. The project anticipates diverting 600,000 pounds of food scraps and green waste from landfills and providing 350 cubic yards of compost to food producers.

City of Philadelphia Cross-Sector Food Waste Diversion

The project will bolster the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Community Compost Network and will pilot a Food Service Business Challenge, which will provide technical assistance to 10-15 businesses citywide to implement food waste reduction strategies.

Lake County Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project

The project will develop a stronger, more vibrant circular economy for managing food scraps and other organic material. It includes a compost to farmland/community garden demonstration study, strengthening the community gardening network, market development for compost, and education efforts to increase participation rates in the commercial and residential sectors.

Mobile Food Waste Collection and Compost Education Program City of Fayetteville, Arkansas

The project will support the purchase and development of a mobile Food Waste Recovery Trailer that will be transported to events and festivals to collect food waste and educate residents. The City will provide residents with 3.5-gallon food waste containers for the home, allowing waste to be dropped off at several sites. An extensive food waste composting educational program will include a full-time educator to provide information, instruction, and advice on theories and methods of organic composting.

Henderson County Organics Pilot Expansion

The project will improve local infrastructure by expanding the public compost facility, increasing the lunchroom composting program to six additional schools , and starting a residential discounted compost bin program.

Paterson Grow Healthy - Composting Pilot

Project partners include the City of Paterson, the Paterson Public Schools, and the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension with support from the Center for EcoTechnology. This project will build on Extension’s environmental education within Paterson’s public schools. It seeks to increase composting by the students and staff of two public school buildings eventually expanding to stakeholders, the entire school district, the City of Paterson, and local institutions that generate significant food waste.

Municipality of Anchorage

Expanding on Success and Envisioning the Future of Organics Diversion in Anchorage, Alaska

The project includes a feasibility study and implementation plan for a municipal-scale composting operation at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, including an education campaign in partnership with the Alaska Food Policy Council, Alaska Waste, and Central Recycling Services. An additional 500 roll carts will be purchased with pick up service to increase composting.

Prince William County Public Schools Food Waste Composting and Education Pilot

The Prince William County Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division (SWD) will work with project partners to implement a food waste composting pilot program for county schools and educate students on the environmental, economic, and social benefits of food waste composting.

Gainesville Pilot Composting Program

The project will implement a residential curbside food waste collection program, boost community composting efforts, and develop an overall local food waste strategy. Community outreach will include educational materials promoting the importance of food waste reduction, benefits of composting, and farm use of compost.


Funding Resources for Farmers (Loans/Grants)

Funding Resources For Farmers (Loans and Grants) are often crucial to starting a new farm business. This page contains comprehensive information about finding financial help for starting your farm business. It is also important to be aware that farm business planning is usually an essential component for obtaining funding, for either loans or grants for farm enterprise. We encourage you to visit our Farm Business Planning Page to learn more about how to develop a business plan.

How the Funding Resources for Farmers Page is Organized:

1) We begin with a list of information resources about federal loan programs administered through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

2) Next we provide information about other federal funding options.

3) Then we list a number links to other public and private organizations which provide information about loans, grants and financial management both for farming and for research (on-farm and academic). Some are specific to beginning farmers, while others are not. And some are focused on particular geographical regions, while most are not.

4) The next section lists beginning farmer loan and development programs administered by individual States.

5) We then provide information about the Farm Credit Cooperative system and how it may assist beginning farmers.

6) Finally, we have links to several private lenders, several of which offer loans specifically geared toward beginning farmers.

1) USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loan Programs:

2) More on Federal Financing Options

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems is a great resource which discusses 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.

The Conservation Stewardship Program , administered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides important funding resources for farmers with areas that are not in agricultural production. And a list of all NRCS programs which provide funds for a wide variety of conservation projects, initiatives, and activities, can be found at : https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) provides a list of federal, state, and local grant programs, regional funding sources, private lenders and more (listed in calender form) at: https://attra.ncat.org/calendar/funding.php

The USDA National Agricultural Library has resources on small farm funding, information about grants and loans for farmers, as well as a General Funding Resources Page.

Find a list of USDA Rural Development Grants at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_Grants.html

Also see the Grants, Loans, and Support Page of the USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Website for an overview of federal grant and loan programs and other funding resources for farmers.

GovernmentLoans.gov is a gateway to Federal agricultural loan information.

Through the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) farmers and ranchers can apply for grants that typically run between $500 and $15,000 for various projects. Different SARE grants are available in different regions. To learn more about available SARE grants, or apply, visit the Apply for a Grant SARE website. For tips on successfully applying for SARE grants visit the National Agriculture Library Applying for a SARE Grant page.

3) Other Funding Resources for Farmers:

  • The Center For Rural Affairs is a great resource which offers a List of Beginning Farmer Financing Programs. Also be sure to check out their Getting Started on Farm Finances Page for lots of useful tips on planning your financing strategy.
  • The Ag Grant Guru has a great blog t hat lists funding opportunities at the federal, state and local level as well as giving tips on applying for, managing and reporting for grants.
  • Chamber of Commerce has a page on Government Grants for Small Businesses , and it is always important to remember that a farm is a small business.
  • Learn about Aggie Bonds for Beginning Farmers by clicking on the “types of state ag loan programs” drop down menu at the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs website.
  • RAFI USA has a publication called TheFarmer’s Guide to Agricultural Credit. This guide was written to help farmers understand agricultural finance, and to help them be better prepared for the credit application process. It introduces some effective planning tools farmers can use to increase their opportunities in accessing capital. Also offered are appendices containing resources for further learning.
  • The Center for Farm Financial Management has a number of great tools, and lots of information to help farmers make sound financial decisions.
    “is a guidebook written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States. Specifically, the guide addresses program resources in community development sustainable land management and value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry.”
  • Karen Klonsky, an Extension Specialist at University of California, Davis has written a simple, but excellent document called How to Finance a Small Farm and Kent D. Olson, a UC Davis Cooperative Extension Economist has written one called Farm Leases and Rents. Both publications are valuable resources, and are part of the University’s excellent Family Farm Series of publications.
  • The Carrot Project “ is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating financing solutions for small- and midsized farms, limited-resource farms, and those using ecologically sound practices. Our singular program model is designed to incubate and establish alternative financing programs in combination with business technical assistance.” Although their loan programs are focused specifically on farmers in New England, (and now expanding to New York) they do have a great deal of information that may be applicable and useful to beginning farmers everywhere. These include reports such as ‘ Lessons Learned: The 2009 Microloan Fund for New England Farmers ‘ and Are Northeast Small Farmers in a Financing Fix? Research Results on Financing Gaps and Program Opportunities relevant to beginning farmer financing, and a quarterly E-Newsletter . Their Farmer Resources Page lists Farm Financing Options, Farm Business and Financial Planning Resources, and other funding resources for farmers, some of which are Multi-state, while others are New England (and New York) specific and listed by state . New England (and New York) Farmers can apply for their Farm Financing Program . They also provide Information for Investors interested in using their financial resources in a socially responsible way, by investing in projects that help to foster the growth of new farmers. Definitely a fantastic project that is worth checking out for anyone interested in procuring loans to help build their farm business, folks who want to help support the growth of small, local beginning farmers, or institutions or groups thinking about starting a similar program in their area.
  • The Equity Trust Fund is capitalized by socially motivated investors and donors. It uses its capital to make low-interest loans for community development, educational or agricultural projects: T hat promote the long-term interests of local communities as well as their individual members That demonstrate the efficacy of land ownership models that balance the interests of individuals and communities That promote social and economic justice That promote environmentally conscious, economically sustainable land use and that would be unlikely to receive financing from conventional sources.
  • Check out the Association for Enterprise Opportunity for information on MicroEnterprise Loans
  • Kiva microloans are available to farmers all over to the world to expand enterprises and fund specific projects. These interest free loans are available as direct loans through PayPal for U.S. farmers, or through partners for farmers in other parts of the world. Get started at https://pages.kiva.org/borrow.

4) Links to State Loan Programs (listed alphabetically):

Wyatt Fraas, from the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) has kindly pointed out that most of these programs are run by State Departments of Agriculture. If your state isn’t listed, contact your Dept. of Ag. to see if they have a new program, and to make them aware that there is demand for beginning farmer loan programs in your state .

Please also check out : the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs and navigate to the “Types of State Ag Loan Programs” drop-down menu for more information about specific state beginning farmer financing programs and other funding resources for farmers including Beginning Farmer Aggie Bond Programs.

  • Colorado offers Beginning Farmer Loans through the Colorado Agricultural Development Authority. For more information visit: https://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1167928162022
  • Illinois has a Beginning Farmer Bond Program administered through the Illinois Finance Authority, which provides reduced interest rates for purchasing farmland. For more information visit: https://www.il-fa.com/node/973.
  • Iowa has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program administered through the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority. For more information on this program visit: https://www.iada.state.ia.us/BFLP/index.html
  • Kansas has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program administered through the Kansas Development Finance Authority. For more information visit: https://www.kdfa.org/BeginningFarmer
  • Kentucky has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program administered by the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation . For More Information visit: https://kafc.ky.gov/kafc_programs_beginningfarmer.shtml
  • Minnesota offers a number of different loan programs through the Rural Finance Authority. For more information visit: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/loans/aggiebond.aspx
  • Missouri has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program administered through the Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. For more information visit: https://www.mda.mo.gov/masbda/begfarm.htm
  • Montana has a Beginning Farm/Ranch Loan Program offered through the Montana Agriculture Loan Authority. For more information visit: https://agr.mt.gov/agr/Producer/GrantsLoans/beginFarmRanch/
  • Nebraska has a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loan Program administered through the Nebraska Finance Investment Authority. For information on this program visit: https://www.nifa.org/programs/index.html?topic=desc&ps=choose&prog_name_sent=Beginning+Farmer%2FRancher
  • Oklahoma’s Beginning Farmer Loan Program (OBFLP) helps provide additional credit options for those entering farming. The loan can be used to obtain or improve capital items such as agricultural land and property, depreciable machinery and equipment, and/or breeding livestock. For more information visit: https://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1807/AGEC-234web13.pdf
  • Pennsylvania has a Next Generation Farmer Loan Program offered through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. For more information visit: https://www.newpa.com/find-and-apply-for-funding/funding-and-program-finder/next-generation-farmer-loan-program
  • Washington State has a Beginning Farmer/Rancher Loan Program offered through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and Northwest Farm Credit Services. For more information visit: https://www.wshfc.org/FarmRanch/index.htm

5) Farm Credit Cooperatives:

Farm Credit Cooperatives are often a great option for funding resources for farmers including farm loans and other financial services for new and beginning farmers. For a nice overview article explaining what farm credit cooperatives are, and how they might assist you, check out the guest post written for us by Gary Matteson, VP for Young, Beginning Small Farmer Programs and Outreach at The Farm Credit Council: https://beginningfarmers.org/farm-credit-cooperatives-offer-loan-options-for-young-beginning-and-small-farmers/

Every Farm Credit institution has some kind of enhancement program for young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers. Since each of those 90 institutions is independently operated, their YBS programs are not the same–they are tailored to local needs. Many Farm Credit institutions have what they offer on their websites, but many do not go into the specifics unless a local office is contacted. To find your nearest Farm Credit office , go to https://www.farmcreditnetwork.com/about/locations.

AgCountry Farm Credit Services “works to support the successful entry of young and beginning farmers into production agriculture through specialized credit underwriting, educational/informational programs and other activities The Farm Credit Council “serves young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers” Greenstone Farm Credit Services has “ special programs for young and beginning farmers”

6) Commercial Lenders

Loans.com is a web portal to 750 commercial lenders.

Mortgage 101 provides a list of lenders, a mortgage calculator, information on mortgage rates, and more.

The American Bankers Association has a Agriculture Banking page.

Bank of America: Agriculture Loans: Finance equipment, land, or production expenses related to farming and ranching, with various repayment terms.

US Bank: Agriculture Loans: Line or load financing for equipment expenses, livestock or crop production with adjustable repayment schedules.

Janus Mortgage has loan packages for purchasing agricultural land.

Investors Resource Alliance provides agricultural business plan funding and borrower or investor loans for the purchase of goods and services to produce agricultural products.


Grants

WSDA's main website has a listing of agriculture grants, many of which are helpful for farms interested in selling to schools. More info here.

WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

These are useful for projects that will benefit a large number of specialty crop growers. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and horticulture plants. More info here.

USDA Grant Programs

USDA has a variety of grant and loan programs available to producers that are relevant for farm to school. Just a few of these programs include:

To find out which grants apply to you depending on your place in the local and regional food system, download the USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain [PDF].

WSDA Regional Markets

WSDA's Small Farm Direct Marketing program has many excellent resources to grant programs, loans, and other financing options available to farmers:
Running a Successful Farm Business: Financing your farm


Education Highlights

There is a growing body of evidence that shows cover crops improve resilience in the face of erratic and increasingly intensive rainfall, as well as under drought conditions. Cover crops help when it doesn't rain, they help when it rains, and they help when it pours!

SARE's Learning Center offers a variety of sustainable agriculture information including:

  • Production and marketing
  • Practical handbooks
  • Free bulletins
  • Online courses
  • How-to fact sheets based on SARE research projects

Illinois SARE
S334 Turner Hall
1102 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801

This site is hosted by the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Congrats to the 2021 Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant Partners

Whole Cities Foundation is excited to announce today that 12 locally-led nonprofit organizations in Newark have been awarded up to $15,000 each through the annual Newark Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant.

Whole Cities Foundation launched the Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant program in 2017 to support local initiatives championing innovative ways to grow community health. In the past five years, the Foundation has awarded grants between $5,000 and $15,000 to 27 locally led organizations including community gardens, urban farms, healthy-cooking classes, farmers’ markets, agriculture-skills development programs and other locally based initiatives.

“Our approach places a community’s self-determined goals at the center of any decision and respects local residents as leaders and co-creators. Many of our partners are starting to move from leaseholder to landowner, which will help secure their long-term success and will be a recognition of the deep value they contribute to their neighborhoods. I am proud that Whole Cities Foundation can play a supporting role in this process by helping to fund the expenses that go along with that transition.”

– Dianna Purcell, Senior Grant Programs Manager at Whole Cities Foundation

Whole Cities Foundation reviewed applications in conjunction with the Newark Community Advisory Council, a panel of engaged Newark leaders with an average of two decades each working and/or living in Newark. The council determined this year’s grantees by each project’s sustainability and alignment with the Foundation’s mission.

The following 12 organizations were awarded grants averaging $14,000 each for a total of $167,970 across all five wards.

Garden of Worker Bees, Girls Live, Love, Laugh, Inc., Giving One Tenth Community Garden, Green Garden Bunches, Hawk Mountain Earth Center, Ironbound Community Corporation, Kids In Business, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Newark Science and Sustainability Inc., Project U.S.E., Rabbit Hole Farm Newark, and Urban Agriculture Cooperative.

  • Ironbound Community Corporation
  • Newark Science and Sustainability

“Ironbound Community Corporation’s sustained commitment to both direct services and advocacy is fundamental to our identity as a community-based agency and essential to both the community’s quality of life and the ongoing empowerment of residents,” said Carena Miles, urban farmer and Farmers’ Market Coordinator with Ironbound Community Corporation, a four-time grantee in the East Ward. “The direct services and advocacy initiatives that comprise our urban agriculture program are building a holistic community food system that improves health, creates economic development, and enriches local culture and community bonds.”

Recently, several Newark growers, including past and present Newark Fresh Healthy Food Access Grant partners, formed the Land Tenure Working Group within the Newark Community Food System, which serves as a resource for those seeking to transition from leaseholder to landowner for the purpose of providing residents with more access to fresh, locally grown produce and hands-on learning opportunities. The group has created innovative leaseholder-to-landowner proposals, following the pathway set forward by Tobias Fox, Founder and Managing Director of Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc., a multi-year grant partner. The group is co-chaired by Fox and Emilio Panasci, Founder and Executive Director of Urban Agriculture Cooperative, a 2020 and 2021 grantee. The Land Tenure Working Group is also engaged in knowledge sharing and continued support of the enhancement of rented and owned green spaces in Newark.

  • Giving One Tenth Community Garden
  • Project U.S.E.
  • Hawk Mountain Earth Center

Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund

We are proud to offer the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund, a grant opportunity for local farmers through a partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District.

The Farm Fund empowers local farmers to grow their businesses in ways that feel sustainable and right to them. It also helps our co-op broaden its offerings of locally grown, raised, and made foods — that means more local food for you, your family, and our community.

The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund’s mission is to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.

This grant supports several of our co-op’s End’s Statements, and the Cheshire County Conservation District’s focus on supporting the viability of farm businesses and the stewardship of natural resources that farmers provide. Since starting in 2017, our Farm Fund has awarded over $87,000 in grants to sixteen local farms.

Apply for a Grant: 2020 Grant Cycle is CLOSED.

Make a Donation to the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund

During months where we do not have a specific Round it Up Donation Drive at our co-op’s cash registers, you can always ask to round your total up when you shop at our co-op.

Tax-deductible donations to this fund can also be made to the Cheshire County Conservation District by using the button below and writing “Farm Fund” under “Add Special Instructions,” or by making a check payable to “Cheshire County Conservation District” and write “MFC Farm Fund” as a note. Mail your check to: CCCD, 11 Industrial Park, Dr., Walpole, NH 03608

For more information email Amanda Littleton or call at 603-756-2988 ext. 4.


Teacher Resources

Grant is open to educators in Grades K-12 including public, private or homeschool classrooms located in Cook County, IL.

The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering grants to supplement virtual or in-class lessons. We are leaving the topic to you to design a lesson, laboratory, or take-home learning kit to enable your students to research a topic related to agriculture. Options can include Culinary Kits (for cooking labs), School Garden Kits (grow a lesson at home), or even a project your students design (i.e., food safety, soil testing, food labeling, product packaging or nutrition). Maximum grant amount $500.

Application Deadline is February 16, 2021

For more informaton contact Diane at [email protected]

2020 Food Science Education Grant

Available to 6-12th grade classrooms. Focusing on locally produced Dairy, Meat, and Vegetables

Congratulations to last year's grant recipients: Komarek School, East Leyden High School, Eisenhower Cooperative, Rolling Meadows High School and Westchester Middle School and to Lyons Township High School this fall.