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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:

Programs and Funding Opportunities

  • USDA Funding Opportunities
  • SARE: Apply for a Grant. Each year, Southern SARE invites applicants to submit proposals for the various grant opportunities that are offered. Applicants are strongly encouraged to download and read the Call for Proposals before applying for a grant. All the rules and guidelines and everything you need to complete the application process and successfully submit your project can be found in the Call for Proposals.
  • ATTRA Funding Opportunities. A wide range of grants and programs that are regularly updated.
  • AgLanta “Grows-A-Lot”is a City of Atlanta program that invites entrepreneurs, non-profits, and residents to apply for a 5-year renewable license to adopt a vacant, city-owned property to start a new urban garden or urban farm in AgLanta.   Together, we are  producing healthy food and rich compost on rooftops to energy right-of-ways.  Applicants can search available properties ; review applicant requirements;  and start the five-step application process by clicking the urban garden or urban farm button below –  or downloading this AgLanta Grows-A-Lot  Adoption Process form.
  • CoolBot Discount (the Small Farmer’s Answer to Cold Storage)