How to Get Urban Farming Grants

Looking for urban farming grants? Read on, I think you’ll like what you’ll read. The United States government has recently been more and more concerned about encouraging 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 areas has invariably been difficult because of the lack of available land.

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 live in cities or suburbs areas. This kind of farming helps 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

When you are trying to start a business, there is risk in the future. According to this Forbes article, 80% of new businesses fail, and it happens in the first 18 months of operation. The first reason why a new business fails is because lack of capital. If you want to get easy funding opportunities for your urban farming, here are some available programs:

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!

USDA Urban Agriculture Tool Kit

Your companies have to complete two steps before being eligible for USDA Urban Agriculture Tool Kit program. First, you need to obtain a DUNS Number. To get it, then you can obtain from Toll-Free Telephone Business entities. You can contact and request the DUNS number here: 1-(866) 705-5711. Tell the operator that you are applying to a Federal financial assistance program and need to register for a DUNS number, by visiting D&B’s website at: webform”

Next, you can register on Once you have a DUNS number, you must register on annually, to remain eligible to get program financial support.

It is important to note that not all funding chances will get DUNS and SAM registration. The Federal government will distribute some of the largest funding support. For instance, this project in Chicago recently got a $1M of urban farming grant provided by the USDA.

Farmers Market Promotion Program

FMPP grants are available to increase marketing opportunities, targeted for all farmers, so you can sell directly to consumers from farmers’ markets or farm and roadside stands, and other direct marketing programs. The amount of funding is available from $2,500 to $100,000 annually, for up to 2 years.

Federal State Marketing Improvement Program

FSMIP offers funds to State Departments of Agriculture and other state organizations to grow innovative methods for marketing agricultural crops. You can use the grants to implement projects by working together with nonprofit organizations and communities. Even you can collaborate with producer groups that have the capability to solve practical marketing issues related to small and medium-scale producers. The amount of funding is from $50,000.

Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership

This place of funds offers funding to support organizations with the needs of “risk management training” to limited resource, socially disadvantaged, traditionally underserved, or beginning farmers and ranchers

The risk management training includes various strategies to build better agricultural businesses, such as innovative marketing methods, better financial management, and production planning to help customers. Also, the grants range from $3,000 – $500,000.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) offers grants to support states and territories in US, strengthen the competitiveness of specialty crops , including: fruits, tree nuts, vegetables, and nursery crops. Besides, you can improve nutrition, and grow better distribution systems. The amount of funding is from $100,000 to $16 million.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

BFRDP is a competitive program, a grant that is from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). It also funds education, extension, and outreach technical assistance supports to help beginning farmers and ranchers. The amount of funding is available from up to $250,000 per year, for three years.

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 (
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