The Ultimate Guide To Urban Farming Grants

Here's the deal:

When you're trying to start any business, there is risk involved.

In fact: 

According to this Forbes article, 80% of new businesses fail in the first 18 months operation.

What is the cause of failure? 

It turns out the number one cause is lack of capital.

So you've gotta be wondering...

How can I get easy funding opportunities for my urban farming venture? 

What are the urban farming grant opportunities in 2017? 

What are urban farming grants available in 2018 and beyond? 

Well, the truth is: 

There are tons of grant opportunities for urban farmers.

The Ultimate Guide To Urban Farming Grants

In this article, we will breakdown 7 of the largest and most popular grant opportunities for urban farmers in the United States that you need to know about.

Even reading the next 3 paragraphs could set you on the path to a whole new trajectory for your urban farming business, so keep reading...

Federal Grant Funding Opportunities For Urban Agriculture

Here's the deal: 

In the United States, the federal government does offer grants for urban agriculture businesses.

According the USDA Urban Agriculture Tool Kit,
companies must complete 2 steps before being eligible for federal grants: 

1) Obtain a DUNS Number: A DUNS number can be obtained in 2 ways: 

" By Toll-Free Telephone Business entities may request the DUNS number by calling a toll-free telephone number: 1-(866) 705-5711. Tell the operator that you are applying to a Federal financial assistance program and need to register for a DUNS number.

Over The Web Business entities can also obtain a DUNS number through D&B’s website at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/ webform"

- USDA Urban Agriculture Kit

2) Register on SAM.gov

"Once you have been assigned a DUNS number, you must annually register on SAM.gov to remain eligible to receive program financial assistance."

- USDA Urban Agriculture Kit

Now: 

Keep in mind that not all funding opportunities will require DUNS and SAM registration.

However, a word of caution: 

Some of the largest funding opportunities will be distributed by the federal government.

For example, this project in Chicago recently received a $1M urban farming grant from the USDA.

Now: 

We have discussed some of the requirements needed for federal funding and the potential size and impact of federal funding.

In the next section you will learn the specific grant funding opportunities available to urban farmers.

Specific Grant Opportunities For Urban Farmers: 

1) Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program: 

This pool of funds provides funding to organizations which "offer risk management training" to: 

- limited resource
- socially disadvantaged
- traditionally underserved (including women)
- beginning farmers and ranchers

What is risk management training? 

"Risk management includes a broad array of strategies to build stronger agricultural businesses including innovative marketing approaches, improved financial management, and production planning to better serve customers"

Amount of funding available: Grants range from $3,000 - $500,000

More Information: http://www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/agreements/

2) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP):

"The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) provides grants to help states and US territories improve the competitiveness of their specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops), improve nutrition, and develop better produce distribution systems"

Amount of funding available: $100,000 to $16 million

Application Link: www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp

3) Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP):

"Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants are designed to increase marketing opportunities for farmers to sell directly to consumers through farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) farms, farm and roadside stands, agri-tourism activities, and other direct marketing initiatives"

Amount of funding available: $2,500 to $100,000 per year for up to 2 years

More Information: http://www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP

4) Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP):

"The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) provides funds to State Departments of Agriculture or other similar state agencies to develop innovative approaches for marketing agricultural products. The grants can be used to conduct projects in collaboration with nonprofit organizations, community, or producer groups that solve practical marketing problems facing small and medium-scale producers"

Amount of funding available: $50,000 (average grant size)

More Information: www.ams.usda.gov/FSMIP

5) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP):

"The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is a competitive grant program administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) that funds education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives directed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers of all types"

Amount of funding available: Up to $250,000 per year for three years

More Info: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/bfrdp.html

6) Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFP):

"Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFP) funds non-profit organizations for projects to meet the food needs of low-income people by increasing their communities’ capacity to provide enough food for its residents. CFP also funds projects that:

- promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues;

- meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for infrastructure improvement and development;

- create marketing activities that benefit both agricultural producers and low-income consumers"

Amount of funding available: $10,000 to $300,000 for one to three years

More Information: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/cfp/cfp.html

7) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE):

'The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is the pre-eminent national research and extension competitive grants program to advance a more sustainable food and farming system. Its mission is “to advance sustainable innovations to the whole of American agriculture.”'

Amount of funding available: $1,000 to $350,000

More Information: http://www.sare.org/

Conclusion

If you take advantage any of these grants opportunities, it could be the difference between sink or swim for your urban farming venture.

So now that you have this information, take action! 

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Article Sources: 

http://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/NSAC_FoodSystemsFundingGuide_FirstEdition_4_2010.pdf