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Farm financing can take many forms, and grants, loans, and cost shares are great ways to help your operation’s bottom line. So what do these terms mean?

  • Grants: Money which does not have to be repaid. Grants may sometimes require proof of matching funds from the applicant and must be used to satisfy the goals of the grant program.
  • Cost Shares: An agency or organization will share in the cost of a program up to a stipulated amount.  The majority of these programs are reimbursement programs where the farmer may need to lay out the funds to complete the program, and then get reimbursed.
  • Loans: Money which has to be repaid.  The applicant must undergo a credit check, and depending on the loan, may be required to put up some sort of collateral.

Grants

 Cost Share Programs

  • The 200 Organic Farms Campaign removes the financial barrier to USDA Organic Certification by reimbursing the full cost of organic certification up to $1,000 for farmers pursuing it for the first time.
  • Organic Certification Cost Share Program: Producers are eligible for as much as 75 percent of the cost (up to $750) through the Georgia Department of Agriculture under the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program and Georgia Organics will provide the remaining 25 percent (up to $250) for farmers getting their certification for the first time. Here is the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Organic Cost Share page.   
  • The Natural Resources Conservation Service has worked with Georgia landowners to protect the state’s natural resources for more than 65 years. They provide technical assistance on natural resources issues and assist individuals, groups, communities, and counties implement soil and water conservation practices to protect the 34 million acres of privately owned land in Georgia. NRCS has cost share programs that provide money and technical assistance for irrigation, wells, rotational grazing cross-fencing, cover cropping and much more. Find an NRCS office near you!

Loans

Below are a list of banks, agencies and nonprofits offering loans to farmers and agricultural enterprises: