cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
rogdoug71
Friend

how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

I am wanting to start a farm in the Montana Area and need start-up cash is there any grants to help with this?

0 Kudos
14 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

Suggest you check with the Farm Service Agency in the area where you want to farm. They have attractive loan programs for Beginning Farmers.

As for the question of " grants", do you truly expect someone to GIVE you free money to start a farm? If so, your four years of classes didn't teach you what you need to know....
0 Kudos
Pupdaddy
Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

Sadly Kay, the younger generation has seen the term "grants" so much in the last few years..that they tend to forget that the real name for it is "tax money". I even went into my Soil and Water conservation office to inquire about varieties of tillage radish that have been proven to be compatible in my area...and they handed me a paper to fill out to apply for a "grant" to put a cover crop on my property. I didn't fill out the paper, but it just points out that there is too much money being spent on people like me who can afford to do "the right thing" and those that want a chance...RE: the young man looking for a start in farming/ranching. Yes there are beginning farmer loans available...and I suggest getting down to the local FSA office and checking them out. What might make some sense...is to ask if there are other young farmers like yourself that have applied for those loans..and talk to them first hand about the things that you might not understand with them. Then get busy young man...you're attempting a very daunting endeavor...but with hard work...and perseverance, you can look back on your efforts and say "Those times were tough, but I wouldn't trade 'em for the world".

0 Kudos
Blacksandfarmer
Senior Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

As a young farmer who started with not much and now farms close to 200 acres I would say it can be done but it will be a long tough road. Your first couple years are the hardest, i.e. going it alone without backing from FSA and since most equipment dealers require 20% down payments on equipment and or something to trade with the equivalent value, you better have some money to bring to the table. I can't say I started completely alone. I leased ground from my parents and received advice from my grandfather and even others on this site from time to time, but the rest was left up to me. As far as grants go I doubt with the current financial problems the government has you will be seeing any of that money. Do you have family that farms or ranches? Where did you attend school for ag?

0 Kudos
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

PD, I have written a successful grant for my family to get a few bucks in Golden Leaf (tobacco settllement) money, and do use costshares and EQIP to accomplish some conservation measures, as well as some state conservation program money, but small amoutns of that.  I am working on an EQIP contract for cost-share on a mortality composter right now, and hope they fund enough of a percentage of the overall cost to justify it. 

 

If not, I will drop back and punt...more than one way to skin a cat, you  know.  

 

"Grant" is not a dirty word, but it is a misleading one sometimes.  I always say that if a business requires a grant to establish and run, it isn't really a business in the sense of free enterprise anymore.

 

"Cost share" is a system that requires you to match to a fair extent what the goverment supplies to accomplish a public objective.  In the case of EQIP, it is natural resource protection.  I am okay with tax money supplying some of that, since we produce a LOT of food for people, and they want celan water and air while we do. 

 

My sense is that cost-sharing a new practice on your farm, if it meets a public objective, is fair to ask some help with, so everyone has the benefit from what is done on the farm operation.  I will taek money for establishing permanent vegetative cover on HEL, or fencing livestock out of a creek, and do not feel at all guilty about it.  If we are expected to meet new standards, then someone needs to help fund their wishes. 

 

I just made my comment as a troublemaker, I guess.  Anyone with a four-year degree in ag ought to know that finances aren't as easy as free money...any money you get has strings attached. 

0 Kudos
k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

Why would the taxpayer's be resposable for the cost of a motality composter ? ?

0 Kudos
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

EQIP pays a measure of costshare money for things like mortality composting, litter storage sheds for broiler litter, etc. This is in the public's interest to protect water quality...just as my tax dollars support town and city sewer and water systems I never use.
At least in this case of agricultural costs shares, the public is helping to carry off some of the costs of producing food in an environmentally correct manner. No different than paying for conservation structures and seeding cover, or fencing livestock out of streams.
0 Kudos
k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

The point being everyone want's to cut spending as long as it doesn't affect my project----so the beat goes on---tax and spend---still no one wants the government involved ---gov. $$$ --- then crab about the paper work involved ??   It's an interesting sell when someone in my neighborhood drives buy in his new pickup after getting 100,000 equip  $$$  and rails about gov. spending on numerous items from unemployment to foodstamps ---   

0 Kudos
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

I don't begrudge anyone help whom truly needs it. To be honest, if I am going to do this expensive a project - which if you know anything at all about NRCS and cost-shares, you know they tend to double the cost of the improvement, over what it could be done for without the agreement - you know that it is money with considerable strings attached. If I don't take the costshare when it is offered, I can cuts the complexity of the project way back, and still make a compliant improvement. I have made this clear to my NRCS guy up front...the cost- share has to justify the extra bells and whistles his engineers want that the state vet doesn't require. I have used EQIP and other conservation funding in the past, and I have bypassed

Given that the policy of the USDA is to promote and protect environmental quality, via EQIP, I think it would be remiss of me as a businessperson to ignore the potential source of funding. We would not need this improvement if not for new regs, and the program
funding recognizes this fact.

Every US citizen benefits from costs that we all have to share. If everyone wanted to raise their own food, or was able to, then the responsibilities associated with that could be individually borne...since very few of us do the dirty work, I refuse to feel guilty about having some support for doing their share of it.
0 Kudos
k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: how hard would it be to get funding for a beginning farmer with 4years of agriculture classes

I find it interesting here in Nebraska we participate with pheasants forever in putting a habitat safe heaven in for species ---on one hand equip  $$$  being spent to controll cedar tree encroacment on native pasture---I'll give you one guess what the shelter belts habitat contained----2 rows of various bushes and you guessed it 2 rows of red cedar----go figure ? Hope the guy wanting begining farmer funding is prepared for """LOTS""" of paper work----the end game if sucessful in my estament is still worth it----  

0 Kudos