Farm Bill Programs and Grants

The charts below provide a quick guide to 2008 Farm Bill programs and grants, including relevant links and deadlines (this is the most recent Farm Bill under which all of these programs currently operate).

This information is updated regularly as new Requests for Applications (RFAs) are released.  Important announcements like new RFAs are also announced in our blog and sent out in the NSAC Weekly Roundup. You can click here to sign up to receive regular NSAC updates.

For more in-depth information on each of these grant programs and other key programs in the Farm Bill, use the navigation bar at the left to browse to your area of interest.

* The left column of this chart links to USDA program websites, except when a website isn’t available, or is out-of-date.

Programs for Producers and EntrepreneursDescription:Next Application Deadline
Biomass Crop Assistance Program
USDA | NSAC
Financial assistance for producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power, biobased products or biofuels.Ongoing. Apply through your FSA county office.
Business and Industry Local Food Enterprise Loans
USDA | NSAC
Loans and loan guarantees to establish and facilitate the growth of local and regional food markets under the B&I program; at least 5 percent of B&I funding is reserved each year for this purpose.Ongoing. Apply through your Rural Development state office.
Conservation Loans
USDA | NSAC
Loans by lending institutions subject to Federal or State supervision, and guaranteed by FSA, may be used to implement soil and water conservation measures.Ongoing. Apply through your FSA county office.
Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentives Program (TIP)
USDA | NSAC
Two years of extra CRP rental payments to landowners with expiring contracts if they agree to rent or sell to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who will use sustainable grazing practices, resource-conserving cropping systems, or transition to organic production.Ongoing. Apply through your FSA county office.
Conservation Stewardship Program
USDA | NSAC

Also, check out ATTRA's step-by-step guide to accessing CSP.
Voluntary program providing financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land.Ongoing. Apply through your local NRCS office.
Down Payment Loan Program for Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers
USDA | NSAC
FSA's special loan program to assist socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers in purchasing a farm. Retiring farmers may use this program to transfer their land to future generations.Ongoing. Apply through your local FSA office.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
USDA | NSAC
Provides technical and financial assistance to address natural resource concerns.Ongoing, with "cut-off" dates for evaluating and ranking eligible applications. EQIP application information is available by state. Apply through your local NRCS office.
EQIP Organic Initiative
USDA | NSAC
A special initiative within EQIP, targeting organic producers and producers transitioning to organic practices. Ongoing, with "cut-off" dates for evaluating and ranking eligible applications. EQIP Organic Initiative application information is available by state. Apply through your local NRCS office.
National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
USDA | NSAC
States reimburse eligible producers or handlers up to 75 percent of organic certification costs, not to exceed $750.For up-to-date application information, contact your state contact.
Rural Energy for America Program
USDA | NSAC
Provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.Apply through your Rural Development state office.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Producer Grants
SARE | NSAC
Competitive grants program providing grants to researchers, agricultural educators, farmers and ranchers, and students in the United States.For up-to-date application information, check out your regional SARE office.
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants to state depts of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.Deadlines vary by state. For information on applying, contact your state Department of Agriculture.
Value-Added Producer Grants
USDA | NSAC
Grants for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Apply through your Rural Development state office.
Wetlands Reserve Program
USDA | NSAC
Provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts.Ongoing. Apply through your local NRCS office.
Programs for Nonprofit Organizations, Researchers and EducatorsDescriptionApplication Deadline
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program
USDA | NSAC
Provides funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences.AFRI program area deadline dates can be found here; RFAs can be found here.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants to new and established local and regional training, education, outreach and technical assistance initiatives that address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchersApplication deadline and other information is available here; RFA can be found here.
Biomass Research and Development Initiative
USDA
Competitive grants to research, develop, and demonstrate biomass projects. Only applicants who were successful in the pre-application phase have been invited to apply. Application deadline and other information is available here; RFA can be found here.
Risk Management Education and Community Outreach Partnerships Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants for organizations to conduct risk management and crop insurance education, community outreach and assistance, and research and development activities in close cooperation with RMA staff.Application deadline and other application information can be found here.
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants for projects to meet the food needs of low-income people; increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues.Application deadline and other information is available here; RFA can be found here.
Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative
USDA | NSAC
Enables the use of three conservation programs and resources of eligible partners to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands in selected project areas.Apply for this Initiative through EQIP, WHIP, or CSP, depending on the project. Application information is available here. For more information, contact your local NRCS office.
Farmers Market Promotion Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.The current application deadline can be found under Frequently Asked Questions on the FMPP website.
Federal State Marketing Improvement Program
USDA
Matching funds to appropriate state agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and improve the marketing system. Contact your state Department of Agriculture to discuss a project.Federal Register notices of recent funds availability can be found here.
Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
USDA | NSAC
Funds research, education, and extension projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products.Application deadline and other information is available here and here; RFA can be found here.
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
NSAC
Outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to successfully acquire, own, operate, and retain farms and ranches. Closing date for applications is December 21, 2011. Click here for the full announcement and application.
Rural Business Enterprise Grant
USDA
Grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment related adult education programsContact your Rural Development state office to find out about funding availability and application details.
Rural Business Opportunity Grant
USDA
The purpose of this program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs.Application deadline information is available on the RBOG website. To apply, contact your local Rural Development office.
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
USDA | NSAC
Grants to organizations that provide training, technical assistance or make small loans to new and existing rural small businesses.Contact your Rural Development state office to find out about funding availability and application details.
Specialty Crop Research Initiative
USDA | NSAC
Grants for research and extension projects that address challenges facing the specialty crop industries. Click here for abstracts of funded projects.Application deadline and other information is available here and here; RFA can be found here.