Answer: An excellent place to start is the USDA's Small Farm Funding Resources. This guide contains information about funding sources for beginning farmers, training, technical assistance contacts, organizations with resources and programs for beginning and experienced farmers, and more.
Additionally, USDA's Alternative Farming Systems Information Center has compiled a list of useful resources and contacts that you should explore.
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities and NSAC's Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs both offer information on Federal grants and programs. These guides can help you find programs that may fit your project. The USDA FSA Microloans Program is a newer program that is typically easier to qualify for and access than some of the other grant and loan programs.
Two ATTRA publications should be especially helpful, as well. Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers lays out several financing options available to beginning farmers to start a farm, and illuminates the step-by-step process of applying for a loan. Small- and medium-scale sustainable farmers and those new to the world of finance are the target audience for this publication. The intention is to help these readers consider a range of options for raising capital and reducing expenses involved in starting a farm, with a bank or government loan as just one tool, albeit an important one, in a whole toolkit of creative possibilities.
Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching offers an overview of the major Federal conservation programs that provide resources for farmers and ranchers to enhance and maintain sustainable farming and ranching practices.
Finally, ATTRA posts funding opportunities daily on its website.
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