How do I start this process of finding funding for my farm or rural small business?
Break the process down into smaller steps.
Before you can apply for funding, you have to know what funding opportunities are out there. Before you can sort through those opportunities, you need to know what they fund and even more importantly what they do not fund. We have sketched out some first steps if you are starting this process below. Take a look and then contact us so we can actively help.
Know your operation:
Are you a farmer, farmer cooperative, processing company, agricultural distributor, community, or non-profit? One of the first questions you ask yourself when looking at a new funding opportunity is whether your type of operation is eligible. Some programs are geared exclusively toward agricultural producers. Other programs focus only on non-profits or cooperatives.
Know your project:
What do you plan for your operation? Grants typically do not fund past activities, so you must be looking to do an activity in the future that meets the grant's requirements.
Find funding opportunities
Sign up for email updates from the Kentucky Agribusiness Grant Facilitation Program:
Click here to add yourself to our email lists to learn what grant opportunities are available now and in the future. We will also be updating this website regularly to add new opportunities as we discover them.
Check out the USDA websites:
USDA is one of the largest agencies that fund agricultural projects. Take a look at their main website or Kentucky's offices: Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development. These sites can give you some idea of the projects that have been funded in the past.
Plan your applications now
Many programs release funds annually.
While they may not be accepting applications now, they will be announcing them in the next year. You can -- and should -- begin drafting your applications ahead of time, so that when the actual funding deadlines are announced, you are ready and you are not caught between having to decide between planting a crop or preparing a grant application!
Organize your information and consider what you need.
Grant applications require a great deal of information and you need to think through what all you will need and develop a plan for pulling together that information. You may find it helpful to review lists of what makes a successful grant proposal like
this one from Purdue University.
Consider using a grant writer:
Many proposals are written by grant writers, who can help guide you through the process and put together a strong application. You pay the grant writer either a flat fee or an hourly rate for the service. You may find that some programs, especially the more complicated ones, make hiring a grant writer more necessary than others. If you need help finding someone to help you write a grant, here to send us an email.
The AGFP is here to help.
This purpose of this program is simple: help agricultural producers and rural businesses find out about funding opportunities and navigate the process for submitting successful applications. Send us an email. Or call the coordinator of the program, Aleta Botts, at 859-951-8328.