Looking for urban farming grants? Read on, I think you’ll like what you’ll read. The United States government recently is more and more concern to encourage the production and consumption of local foods. In a rural area, this is not a serious problem, of course, since there are a lot of spacious lands that can be used as farms. However, producing local foods from urban area has invariably been difficult because of the lack of the available lands.
One of the ways to get around this problem is by way of urban farming. Urban farming is a growingly popular trend among people having life in cities or suburbs areas. This kind of farming help the family to eat fresh, healthy local food they produce on their own. Several techniques may be applied, including verticulture or vertical farming, hydroponics, etc.
Needless to say, starting this home-based farming requires some amount of money as an initial investment. This is the main obstacle for most people wanting to start their own urban garden. However, since urban farming is a positive activity there are still a couple of urban farming financial assistance options available. Today we are going to talk a bit about them, from grants to loans.
Urban Farming Grants Options
Financial Aid Options from the Government
The US Department of Agriculture handles everything related to farming, including urban farming. You may have heard that they have several programs available, but you still need to narrow it down. The fastest way is to contact your state’s USDA office and ask them about the grant opportunities for urban farming. The program may be listed under Beginning Farmer programs. Of course, every state has its own policy, so you may or may not find grants for urban farming.
Another possible program coming from the USDA that can be used to cover the expenses for starting urban farming would be the Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG); which can be applied to cover 50% of the total cost of the project. You can also apply for the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant program, which is more of a general financial assistance program. That said, a smart application for your urban farming may just get through this program. There’s also the Farmers Market Promotion program that can be used as a technical assistance to improve the marketing of local products. You may also want to consider applying for the Specialty Crop Block Grant.
For more information about the available grants, loans or other financial assistance options from USDA, we highly recommend you to contact your state’s USDA office. There might be additional state-specific grant programs available!
Non Government Sources
Despite the USDA provides many opportunities for urban farming grant, the whole financial assistance system is pretty competitive. We often heard a lot about how beginner farmers don’t get the financial assistance that they need. There are two primary reasons for this: tough competitors and limited funding.
Fortunately, there are several organizations or foundations that are willing to help. Some of the good examples are Farm Aid, Community Garden and Beginning Farmers. Sometimes they provide grants, but since they are nonprofits, the grants are typically small in amount and may not be available every year. However, these organizations are an excellent source of information for grants for urban farming!
- Farm Aid Grants
- Urban Farming and Gardening Resources
- Community Garden Funding Opportunity
- Image: en.wikipedia.org