Financing your small farm can be one of your biggest challenges as a producer. With the right research you can find many resources online to help.
A grant is money that doesn’t have to be repaid. Many states have grant programs. Depending what state or locality your in you need to research your local option. Don’t just look for farm only funding opportunities. Remember that farming is a business as much as a lifestyle. Grants are available not just for production but for conservation, energy saving, marketing, etc.
The Farm Credit System is a unique cooperative that’s sole purpose is to provide loans for farms and rural properties. Throughout the country you can find banks associate with the farm credit system in your area. They offer loans for small and large farms and for producers who are just starting out or farmers who are more established.
Farm Service Agency
FSA is part of the United States Department of Agriculture. FSA administers much of the financial aspect of USDA. They offer loans for many types of operations. They are some of the best places to start with for new or young farmers just starting out.
Many young farmers just starting out generally overlook older farmers. The number of older farmers far outpaces that of younger producers. Many of these older farmers have no one set to take the reins when they retire. This presents an opportunity for some one just starting out. Even if they cant pass over their business they can serve as mentors to the younger generation.
Start a Sideline
Without sufficient financial resources it can be hard to build your business. By starting a sideline in conjunction to your farm operation you can earn more money. Sidelines that work well depends on what kind of farming business you have. Livestock and poultry production are year round but typically wont take all day everyday to work. Crop production or fruit and vegetable production are more seasonal which gives you time in the off season.
Financing a farming operation is no small task. With planning and hard work you can still build your business.