Grants For Female Farmers and Ranchers
Today, more and more women are taking on leadership positions in agriculture by starting, running and owning their own farms and ranches. If you’re looking to join these ranks, or are just getting into the business, you may be looking for grants for female farmers and ranchers to help you get your business off to a smooth start.
And there is good news: there are grants specially tailored to women to open and operate farms and ranches with the ultimate goal of attracting more women to agriculture through special funding opportunities.
Grants For Female Farmers and Ranchers
Starting and running a productive and sustainable farm or ranch can involve many costly elements, from the land itself to the machinery needed to care for the crops to the forage to support growing numbers of livestock.
Fortunately, there are quite a few grants for female farmers and ranchers out there for those who may not have the resources.
While not all of the grants listed below are for women farmers only, many organizations take into account whether the applicant is a woman, understanding that women have historically had fewer opportunities as farm and ranch owners than men and for them the grants for female farmers and ranchers is a real help.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture runs a U.S. Department of Agriculture program designed to help farmers who are just starting out.
Called the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), this project is a heavily funded program that awards grants for female farmers and ranchers to many community-based organizations, some of which are supporting new female farmers and ranchers in the United States.
Total funding for these USDA grants for 2021 is approximately $ 18 million, and the grants for female farmers and ranchers are available in the range of $50,000 to $750,000. Five percent of this total of 18 million US dollars is earmarked specifically for projects that serve farmers with limited resources or otherwise socially disadvantaged farmers.
These include immigrants, minority farmers, and female ranchers and farmers, as well as farm workers who wish to set up their own businesses. Another five percent of the funding is reserved for projects that serve farmers and ranchers who are military veterans.
The BFRDP grants go to organizations and institutions so individuals cannot apply for them directly. However, these organizations and institutions can then distribute the funds to the individual project participants.
If you are a woman, an immigrant, a member of a minority group, or a military veteran, you should consider finding an organization near you that is funded by a BFRDP grant and applying for organic farm assistance through that group. To find recipients in your area, check the USDA’s database of recent grant recipients and search for “Beginning Female Farmers Grant.”
American Agri Women (AAW)
American Agri-Women (AAW) began in 1974 and began as a coalition between four agricultural women’s groups. Today the AAW has more than 50 member organizations in all 50 US states. Overall, AAW represents tens of thousands of women in agriculture.
The individual members of the AAW are eligible for smallholder grants directly through the foundation, which help them obtain the resources they need to succeed in agricultural professions, including farming and ranching. Each year, AAW offers $1,500 in mini grants for women farmers worth up to $500 each.
Applications are due on October 15th each year. Applicants must describe the specific project they intend to use the grants for female farmers and ranchers on, including their vision for the work and its potential impact. In addition, they must provide details of how they intend to carry out and maintain the project, and include a discussion of their budget and other resources they will use.
Simply Organic Giving Fund
Organic farmers out there should buy something with the Simply Organic Giving Fund. While the grants for female farmers and ranchers is not just for female ranchers and farmers, this scholarship opportunity can be helpful.
Simple Organic is a private organization that makes organic products, including condiments, sauces, condiments and baking accessories. It uses a percentage of its earnings each year for grants for female farmers and ranchers funded through a program called the Simply Organic Giving Fund.
The Simply Organic Giving Fund prioritizes grants for organic farmers that help support food insecure populations. Food insecurity, according to the USDA, is an “economic and social condition of limited or insecure access to adequate food at the household level”.
In 2018, an estimated one in nine Americans experienced food insecurity. Grant prioritization may include organic farmers and ranchers who not only distribute organic food to these populations.
But also offer things like nutritional advice that focuses on the importance of organic food.
Applications consist of a succinct summary of the key elements of the program for farmers, including its leader, who will benefit from it and what makes it unique or innovative.
If you are applying for grants for female farmers and ranchers, you should also discuss how you intend to use the funds from the scholarship to be successful in the short and long term.
Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG)
The Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) exists within the framework of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) as a grant provider for mainly individual farmers, group farmers and farmer and ranchers’ cooperatives. The idea is to bring new products to market, providing equipment grants, expand marketing opportunities and improve farmers’ incomes.
VAPG grants are not only intended for farmers and ranchers, although they prioritize novice, experienced and socially disadvantaged farmers.
Small and medium-sized agricultural and family farm projects also have priority.
VAPG grants typically range from $ 75,000 to $ 250,000, with a total of $ 76 million available. Applicants must agree with the funds of the VAPG scholarships.
That is, if the grants for female farmers and ranchers is $100,000, the recipient must also contribute $100,000 to their project.
Fifty percent of the farmer’s pooled funds must be in cash. The other 50% can be invested in “sweat capital” or in the farmer’s personal investment of time and labor.
Because the application forms for this grants for female farmers and ranchers are complicated, the VAPG program recommends applicants to contact a business programs specialist before commencing.
Each state has its own contact details to get in touch with someone who can help with the application process.
Loan Program for Minority Grants for Female Farmers and Ranchers
Sponsorship Organization :
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Provides loans to historically underserved farmers and ranchers to fund farms and ranchers, buy land, build or improve facilities, and support family living expenses. Loans are granted through one of five USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs.
A portion of all funds from each program will be used to target farmers and ranchers from minority and underserved groups and to support them in establishing and maintaining successful farms and ranches.
USDA FSA Eligible Loan Programs Include:
- Business loans used to finance the running costs essential to the success of a farm or ranch
- Farm Ownership Loans to Buy a New Farm or Ranch; expand an existing farm or ranch; or construction, purchase or improvement of agricultural housing, farm buildings or other facilities
- Guaranteed farm loans that help farmers obtain commercial loans on reasonable terms from USDA-approved private lenders
- Microloan programs that provide finance to non-traditional farms including truck farms, hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical and organic producers, and direct marketing and sales through farmers markets, community-supported agriculture, restaurants and grocery stores
- Youth loans to young people who participate in 4-H clubs, FFA, tribal youth groups, or similar organizations to start and run humble, income generating agricultural projects
Who Can Apply ?
Eligible minorities and underserved farmers and ranchers include:
- African American
- Native people of Alaska
- American Indians
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific islanders
Loan amounts, interest rates, and terms vary depending on the USDA FSA program through which an applicant applies for a loan.
For specific information on loan amounts, rates, and terms, see the appropriate webpage for each loan program on the USDA FSA website.
Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found on the appropriate website for each eligible USDA FSA program that provides targeted loan finance to minority women.
Applicants are required to voluntarily provide race, ethnicity, and gender information on the loan application in order to be considered for a loan under this program.
Women seeking grants for female farmers and ranchers can participate fully in the private farming organization. Local, state, and federal funds are also available to farms for a variety of uses, other than business start-ups.
Many grants are given to non-profit organizations that want to combine traditional farming methods with environmentally friendly, sustainable cultivation techniques. In addition, women farmers who form a cooperative, non-profit organization have better chances of receiving state subsidies for agriculture.
Apply For Grants For Female Farmers and Ranchers.