Funding Opportunities

How to Use the "Federal Funding Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture" Database

To search the table, select the "Search Options" button or type your search term in the search bar.

For more detailed information on a program, select the plus (+) button next to a program's name in the table.

Funding opportunities are organized by Issue Area and by who is eligible to apply. Learn more about what those categories mean below:

Issue Areas

  • Economic Development for Farms, Businesses and Communities
  • Many rural communities with historically agriculturally dependent economies have suffered as agriculture has concentrated toward fewer, larger farmers, serving and served by fewer local businesses. Programs in this category offer direct and indirect support through loans, grants, and technical assistance, including for cooperative development.
  • Farm Loans
  • Farms and farm businesses often need access to capital, both for land and operating costs. This table describes several USDA direct and guaranteed loan programs, which increasingly are available to enterprises of all sizes, with terms and availability designed to serve beginning, underserved, and veteran borrowers.
  • Risk Management
  • Farmers seek to manage risks associated with farm production and market fluctuations. In addition to strategies like diversifying farm enterprises or seeking organic or other higher value markets, many farmers use crop insurance (the table below does not include crop insurance programs). This table features several risk management education programs.
  • Local Food Systems, Value-added, and Marketing Innovations
  • Earnings in extractive industries like agricultural production and timber harvesting can be low and volatile. Therefore, many entrepreneurs seek to build economic and environmental sustainability by adding value to those natural resources through processing, packaging, marketing, distributing the products themselves, or by producing their goods with methods that gain market premiums. This category includes programs offering financial, technical, marketing, and other assistance for such enterprises, as well as programs that support local marketing or market development, including organic or food safety-related certifications.
  • Natural Resources Conservation and Management
  • Farmers, foresters, and other landowners adopting resource management practices that protect soil, air, water and wildlife on their land in an economically viable way use many strategies. These include sustainable forestry practices; intensive rotational grazing of livestock; soil conservation; organic or biodynamic farming systems; cover crops and crop rotations; farmland protection, wetland and other habitat restoration; riparian buffers, and many other practices. This category includes funding, technical assistance and other resources to support such land management changes.
  • Nutrition and Consumer Food Access
  • The nation’s struggle to address the health, fiscal and social implications of obesity has brought renewed awareness of the importance of affordable, culturally appropriate, safe and nutritious food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Many families living in rural and urban areas also lack access to healthy food. To address food insecurity issues, federal programs were created to link local producers and consumers. Programs in this category may also seek to address underlying causes in poverty in a community.
  • Research and Outreach
  • To remain dynamic and become more resilient to climate, market, and societal changes, farmers, ranchers and landowners require reliable, research-based information, technical assistance, or other informational help. Several programs offer outreach, research, or community assistance, and the last three Farm Bills have focused specific assistance on underserved, beginning or veteran farmers and ranchers.


Who Can Apply

  • Producers
  • This category may include farmers, ranchers, landowners, and food processors.
  • Institutions
  • This category may include universities, institutions, private or public organizations, or local, state or Tribal governments


Federal Funding Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture Database

Are you looking for federal grants and incentives, loans, or technical assistance for a sustainable agriculture project?

Information for this table was adapted from Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities. This guide was produced through the collaboration of SARE, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI), the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Funding was provided by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the McKnight Foundation.