Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique.
Farmer Grant projects should seek new knowledge other farmers can use and address questions that are directly linked to improved profits, better stewardship, and stronger rural communities.
A technical advisor–often an extension agent, crop consultant, other service professional or farmer with advanced expertise–must also be involved.
Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices.
Who can apply
Farmers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. are welcome to apply. Learn more about eligible farms here.
Funding available and timeline
Grant awards are capped at $30,000 per project. Funding requests should align with project duration, scope of the work, amount of collaboration and extent of outreach. Most projects run for one to two years, but projects up to 3 years are accepted. Proposals are typically due in the late fall with a spring start date.
What funds can be used for
Funds can be used to conduct the research project including paying farmers for their time, for project-related materials, for project costs like consulting fees or soil tests, and any communications or outreach expenses associated with telling others about project results.
What funds cannot be used for
This grant program is not meant to help start or expand farm businesses. Farmer Grant funds cannot be used for capital costs associated with building a barn, greenhouse, or other major farm fixture, nor can funds be used to start a farm, purchase durable equipment like tractors or computers, or for any utility, telephone, or other costs that would be there in the absence of the project.
What is expected of grantees
Farmer Grant recipients are expected to collect and manage reliable data about their project and convey this information clearly through annual and final reports. Learn more about Managing Farmer Grants here.