Government Grants for First Time Female Farmers – More women are beginning their agricultural careers and stepping into leadership roles. As per the latest estimates, females comprise more than 40% of the agricultural labor force across the globe. Nearly one-third of all farm operators or workers are women in the United States of America.
The USDA reports of 2017 state that there were nearly 1.1 million female-operated farms and ranches in America and the number is increasing with each passing year. Even though they earn only $50,000 per year they still earn more compared to their male counterparts. Today a growing number of government and non-governmental organizations are providing female farmer grants in an attempt to bridge the gender gap and promote local economies.
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Highlights of this Post
What Are The Eligibility Criteria To Qualify For First-Time Female Farmers Government Grants?
If you are an aspiring first-time female farmer then you can find amazing grants and assistance programs that suit your needs. Every grant source has particular goals that they want to achieve so you must research the goals of the grant before applying.
While few grants promote female entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector, others promote minorities and emerging farmers. Women seeking government grants for first-time female farmers must fulfill the following eligibility criteria.
- Must make a comprehensive proposal including the description of your project, an estimated schedule for your operation, a list of your partners and a budget mentioning the short-term and long-term costs.
- Applicants should be the citizen of the United States or permanent residents and have income within a particular threshold
- Applicants must be female farmers or ranchers owning an equal or large stake in a qualifying business that is majorly for instance 51% or more owned, operated or controlled
- Must not be a delinquent on government debt
- Must prove you are operating or have an existing business based in the United States of America. Your farm or ranchers should be in the United States.
- Must use the grant award for a particular purpose mentioned by the program and demonstrate a robust need for grant funding
- All the taxes must be correct and in good standing and the agribusiness must not have any outstanding tax liens or legal judgments unless exempt.
- Applicants must prove they are currently operating an active female-owned or operated farm or ranch.
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What Are The Documentation Required To Qualify For First-Time Female Farmers Government Grants?
Following are the commonly requested official documents to apply for first-time female farmers government grants.
- Personal identification documents like state ID, passport, Social Security card
- Detailed personal financial information such as tax return forms, bank statements, recent pay stubs
- A full year of business bank statements
- Balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement.
- Tax ID or EIN IRS letter for reference
- Details of accounts payable and receivable
- Business debt schedule if applicable
- Most recent business tax return
- Business certificate along with permits, licenses, legal business documents, articles of incorporation etc.
- Complete business plan for instance a detailed description of the type of business you are running, the structure, the service or products, the marketing plan, business management and financial projections.
- A detailed budget showing how you are planning to use the grant for your farms and ranches
- A completed application or resume.
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What Are The Available First-Time Female Farmers Grants?
Starting a farm as a female entrepreneur can be a very good start to a rewarding career in the farming and agriculture sector. Unfortunately, the upfront cost can be challenging for a lot of first-time female farmers. In addition, you have to purchase seeds, land, and equipment and also hire staff.
Fortunately, there are ways to get grants from the government and nonprofit organizations and cover the cost of your new farm. Let’s take a look at the following first-time female farmer government grants that you can apply for.
Government First-Time Female Farmers Grants and Loan Programs
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has designed the Beginning Farmer And Rancher Development Program in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture. Female farmers in their first ten years of operating a ranch or farm can obtain assistance from the USA Beginning Farmer And Rancher Development Program.
The grant program was designed as a response to the aging rancher and farmer population. The program is intended to encourage young entrepreneurs including first-time female entrepreneurs to establish farms. You can use the funding for salaries and equipment instead of capital improvements.
To be eligible for the grant you must be a part of a partnership for instance a non governmental organization or community-based organization. The grant award ranges between $50,000 to $750,000 and community-based organizations are eligible to apply their distributed fund to individual participants. Immigrants, women, minority farmers and ranchers including first-time inexperienced women farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance.
Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grants help budding farmers. You should understand that agricultural products with added value differ a lot from normal agricultural products.
However, these normal agricultural products are consciously changed during production as it helps in increasing the market value of the product. Agricultural value added products are highly beneficial for the companies as it helps the unprofitable companies into profitable ones.
There are also many farmers who are receiving these types of grants to develop their business plan and also get commercialization opportunities for the valued added agricultural products they want to produce. They can also use the simplified application grants that are under $60,000. But remember to get the grant a 50% match requirement is necessary.
The full form of ACDI/ VOCA is Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance. The name was created because both of the organizations have merged together.
The new organization is mainly based in Washington D.C and also works with women farmers to improve their standard of living, improve communities and also develop economic growth. The ACDI/VOCA program also helps out with the negotiation process, allocation of funding, administrative tasks and many more.
REAP stands for the Rural Energy Program for America. The REAP funding program also offers funds to expand renewable energies that are required. For instance, when you are planning to convert your existing business or starting your own organic business you can apply for the REAP grants. It will help you with funds that can be used for funding energy-efficient power sources to heat or cool.
The Women And Minorities In Science, Engineering, Technology And Mathematics Fields Program is funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It supports education, research and extension projects and adds new internships, mentoring and job opportunities in science, technological engineering and mathematics classes, particularly in food and agriculture.
Applicants who have projects related to the STEM field and also contribute to the growth of the rural economy are encouraged to apply for this program. First-time female entrepreneurs are also eligible to participate in the program and receive grants of varied amounts. The program has funding up to $384000 and each grant comprises $100,000.
First-time female farmers can receive government farming grants to pay for seasonal housing or year-round housing for their workers by applying for Farm Labor Housing Loans And Grants Programs.
The program provides funding opportunities to cover the cost of land as well as construction required for housing for laborers. You can also apply for the grant to build facilities on the ground like dining halls and laundry rooms. Applicants have to match nearly 10% of the grant amount and showcase that the majority of their income comes from farming.
The program is funded through the USDA and is also open to local and state government entities for the benefit of women farmers. With workers getting a safe and reliable place to stay near the farm, women farmers need not worry about their workers commuting to work every day.
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First-time female farmers who belong to socially disadvantaged groups in America can apply for the USDA Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants. The grant has a socially disadvantaged population including first-time females in rural areas so that they can get the resources and funding to start or expand their agricultural businesses.
The program grants funding to eligible businesses and individuals so that they can purchase land, supplies, and equipment and receive technical assistance or training. The grants help in supporting rural businesses and developing strategies or creating new products.
The objective of the program is to assist socially disadvantaged groups particularly women farmers to acquire similar opportunities to succeed in the agriculture industry like others. The grant ensured that the rural economy where disadvantaged populations are living gets the right resources to prosper in life.
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The Farm Service Agency, a component of the United States Department of Agriculture provides micro-loans to meet the needs of small or medium-sized farmers as well as niche farmers including those involved in organic, non-traditional farming and direct marketing.
The program provides loans up to $50,000 and is not exclusive to women however first-time women entrepreneurs can also obtain funding from this resource. It provides financial assistance to beginning farmers or ranchers, small farmers, veterans and women or minority farmers to enable them to purchase the necessary livestock and cover expenses associated with farming operations.
You can use a loan fund for a variety of farm operations like purchasing feed, seeds, livestock, equipment, and supplies, making minor repairs or improvements to buildings, and covering family living expenses or costs for water and land development.
Private And Community First-Time Female Farmers Grants
A private organization known as Simply Organic offers support to the farmers by offering organic farming grants. The grant contains its own set of the products consisting of baking accessories, sauces, salads, condiments and organic condiments. One percent of their total income is forward to the Simple Organic Fund.
Women farmers who apply for the scholarship need to advertise, produce and sell organic food or offer nutritional advice that is related to organic products. However the preference is mainly given to those applicants that are offering organic and sustainable food options and food insecure households.
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The Young Farmer Grant Program by the National Young Farmer Coalition supports young farmers including first-time female farmers. The grant program provides 75 grants each of $5000 worth in addition to National Young Farmers Coalition membership.
First-time female farmers building their careers in the agriculture and farming sector can take advantage of this grant program.
The recipients of the program can use the funding opportunities to cover the cost of starting farm operations and running or growing the business with no additional limitations.
Around 50% of the grant awards are provided to indigenous, black and people of color whereas the other 50% belong to non-binary, female-identifying and trans farmers.
The Fund-a-Farmer Grant is provided by the Food Animal Concerns Trust to improve farm animal welfare and support the expansion of human farming practices. Food Animal Concerns Trust provided nearly 600 grants in 2012 that are worth $1.11 million or more.
The funding opportunities can be used for capital as well as operation work associated with supporting the objectives of the organization. The organization accepts projects that include access to share, watering systems, fencing, mobile animal shelters and cattle scratching stations.
Founded in 2012 the FruitGuys Community Fund provides a wide array of funding opportunities for US-based agriculture nonprofits and small farms. The grant funding is available up to $5000 each and the funding is used to help farmers improve their business operations.
The applications accepted by the organization are specific however the organization looks for proposals that help in improving sustainability and strengthening the local community for instance soil health, natural pest control, drip irrigation, energy efficiency and so on.
First-time female farmers who are running their farms for a minimum of one year can apply for grant funding. You must be an agricultural nonprofit, operator or owner of the farm or have legal access to the land where it is situated.
First-time female farmers in the United States can get scholarships if they are members of the American Agri Women Foundation. The foundation provides tons of opportunities to young people including first-time female farmers if they can fulfill the eligibility criteria of this scholarship.
Two scholarships worth $1000 are provided to eligible ranch, farm or agribusiness women to further their education. Only wives and close relatives of eligible ranchers, farmers and other individuals employed in the agriculture sector are eligible for this fund. The funds will help you to pay for approved and accredited agriculture-related courses.
The American Agri Women Helen Whitmore Memorial Convention Scholarship helps to increase the involvement of the organization by assisting the current members attend the convention and around 3 scholarships worth $500 are provided every year. The organization provides many other scholarships in Washington DC.
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The University Of Vermont Extension provides scholarship opportunities to deserving awardees through the Vermont Farm Women’s Fund so that they can cover the cost of registering or attending educational courses, conferences and other classes.
The objective of the grant is to help and empower women including first-time female farmers so that they can make improvements at their farms. The scholarships are capped at $150 and help women owners, operators or workers on farms situated in Vermont.
Eligible farmers including first-time female farmers can obtain grants of up to $15,000 per year through the Organic Farming Research Foundation. The foundation funds research projects that are associated with organic ranching or farming.
Besides organic farming or ranching the organization also funds research associated with organic livestock production, exploring financial problems faced by small or medium-sized ranches and farms and finding optimum solutions to the existing production problems.
First-time female farmers applying to Organic Farming Research Institutions must make sure their proposal includes working organic farmer ranch and they must describe how their project fosters the adoption or improvement of the organic farming system.
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The Tory Burch Foundation provides amazing resources to women entrepreneurs and is not specific to agriculture. Being a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 the Tory Burch Foundation helps women coming from different fields. First-time women farmers can apply for the Capital Program and Fellows Program by the foundation to ensure the success of their businesses.
The programs and grants of the foundation are open to all women entrepreneurs who own a major stake in their business, and plan to use the benefits of the program to grow their business and manage their business daily.
The aim of the foundation is to support the empowerment and entrepreneurship of women by providing programs and resources and investing in the sustainability and success of women-owned small businesses. The grant award may range up to $5000 for eligible candidates.
Even though the Amber Grant Foundation does not target women or first-time females exclusively in the agriculture industry it supports women-owned businesses coming from different fields.
Established in 1998 in the memory of Amber who could not fulfill her business dreams, the Amber Grant Foundation is dedicated to helping women achieve their business goals.
First-time female entrepreneurs can also apply for an Amber grant if they’re fulfilling the eligibility criteria. To be eligible female entrepreneurs must be a minimum of 18 years old and have citizenship in the United States or Canada. The established business or startup business must be a minimum of 51% women-owned.
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There are government agencies and organizations that are dedicated to helping female ranchers and farmers to start, maintain as well as expand their businesses. There are a lot of farming grants designed particularly for women in America. With the resources mentioned above first-time female farmers can get the right assistance and support to start or expand their business operations. You can apply for the aforementioned programs and grants to build a successful agricultural career and take advantage of the opportunities that are designed for female farmers as operators. Government farm grants for first-time farmers help them to manage their livestock and crops, build other infrastructure, buy new equipment or make conservation efforts.
Frequently Asked Question
What are the grants that offer help to the first time female farmers?
There are many types of grants that include Value-Added Funding Program for Producers, Social Disadvantage Group Grant Program, Beginning Farmer And Rancher Development Program etc. But remember that each program has its own set of benefits and eligibility requirements.
How can I prepare grant applications for first time female farmers?
To prepare or apply for the grant application, first of all you need to submit the request along with all the required documents. In the next step you can try to hire a professional who can provide you tips and tricks that will help you in choosing the right grant that can be effective for your business.
What are the best ways to get the grant money for first time female farmers?
There are few ways that can help you to get the grant money for first time female farmers. You need to have a strong business plan and also know the sources of the available grants that are available. A strong business plan will help you in operating your business flawlessly without facing any drawbacks.