Investing in Your Farm: Accessing Grants and Loans for Growing Your Business

Beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers struggle to access land and capital to build infrastructure and assets critical resources to operate economically viable farms. With the workshop series, Investing in the Farm: Accessing Grants and Loans for Growing Your Business we are offering trainings to producers on record-keeping and financial management strategies to improve access to grants, cost-share, and loan programs. Educational events include:

  1. Grant Writing for Farmers 101, (January 18, 2023).
  2. Unlocking MA Money for Your Farm: Digging Deeper in MDAR Grants and Financial Assets, (January 23, 2023).
  3. Building from the Ground Up: High Tunnels, Irrigation, Cover Crops, and Other Infrastructure Loans Through NRCS and FSA Programs, (January 30, 2023).
  4. Funding Next Level Enterprises in Rural Communities: Exploring USDA Rural Development through BA/SBIR Business Development Programs, (February 13, 6:00-8:00. Online).
  5. Locating Funds to Mitigate Risk on the Farm: Crop Insurance and Other Research-based Opportunities, (March 6, 6:00-8:00 PM. Hybrid).
  6. Strategies to Capitalize the Farm: Lessons from the Field from Small Scale Farmers (March 20, 6:00-8:00 PM. Online).
  7. What’s SNAP Got to Do With It?: Expanding Your Customer Base with Food Nutrition Programs and Technology,  (April 3, 6:00-8:00 PM. Hybrid).

Starting a Farm from Scratch: Resources to invest in equipment and infrastructure

A farmers’ decision tool to access funding, consider risks, and plan for the future.

Starting a farm from scratch and assessing, selecting, installing, or building all the necessary infrastructure for a new enterprise is not a straightforward task. There are many decisions to consider and resources to evaluate. We hope this guide helps in the efforts to establish a farm or determine the infrastructure needed at a new property. Making a business of growing food for others is meaningful work, though it isn’t always easy. The process of establishing a farm at a new site can be quite involved, but we hope the considerations, resources, and contacts highlighted in this document help you succeed toward that goal. If you are a new farmer or a prospective farmer in Massachusetts, feel free to reach out to us at the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project to assist you as you develop your enterprise goals and assess your infrastructure needs.

This project, titled, “Connecting Massachusetts' Underserved and Beginning Producers to Safety Net and Farm Support Programs,” material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award number 2021-70027-34693.