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Article Date: 01/10/11
Agricultural Grants For Small Farms
Farming is an important sector that the government is trying to encourage by means of

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making available funds for those wishing to take up this profession. Right from encouraging students to take up courses in agriculture and related subjects to giving absolute free grants to farmers, the government is doing all possible promote agricultural activity. People who are interested in starting their own small farm or improving and modernizing their existing farms can avail the federal and state government grants being given out for these specific purposes. The only eligibility criterion is that the applicant should be having a farm, having experience in farming or having a degree in farming or allied subjects.

Though the number of such grants is less compared to the variety of loans available for farming, but there is certainly scope for any one who is keen on getting a grant. In order to apply you have to first prepare the business plan of your proposed farm showing its practical financial management and the feasibility of success. The documentation has to be done correctly as per the desired guidelines and the documents with the completed application must be submitted prior to the specified deadline. In case it is the first time that you are applying for such a government grant it is advisable to take help from qualified people to fill out the application correctly. There may be certain queries in the application form that might appear confusing. Wrongly filled forms or those deposited after the due date are automatically rejected. Collecting the required information regarding the grants is the first step.

Agencies that can provide Help

1. Cooperative Extension- which is a county level agency that can offer information regarding types and sources of grants and give assistance in filling up the application.

2. Small Business Development Centers- where the required professional guidance for making the proposal and business plans for the grant application can be sought.

Websites for detailed Information

1. USDA Small Farm Funding Resources

2. USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

3. USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

Now that the correct information can be obtained and the requisite documentation be carried out all that remains is to avail the money and start working on your plans of a great farm. Normally it takes about one to two months for the application to be processed and the grant money to be released. However the granting authorities will require detailed documents pertaining to the utilization of the funds and will also track the progress of works being undertaken at the farm. Establishing a farm will require demarcating the land, putting up the fencing, acquiring equipments and hiring the labor before any work can progress. At the outset all this may appear to be a daunting task. Setting up a farm is like any other conventional business and requires dedicated efforts on part of the promoter to make it a success. With help of the financial assistance that the federal and state governments provide a small farm can be turned into a business venture which will then attract further loans and grants for expansion.

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