Funding for Graziers

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
SARE is a program providing grants to researchers, agricultural educators, farmers and ranchers, and students in the U.S. These grants help farmers answer questions for themselves, on their own farms, by providing some support for the work involved. Farmers can use the funds to buy a small piece of needed equipment, or some seed, or some other materials needed to be able to compare two or three management systems. Find out more about SARE grants: http://sare.org/ncrsare/prod.htm.

Conservation Stewardship Program
Funding provided to farmers on a per acre basis, rewarding farmers for current good conservation practices in place. Applications are ranked higher when the farmer agrees to implement further conservation enhancements. Signups are continuous throughout the year, with specific deadlines for application rankings. Contact your local county NRCS office for more info

Good news! Due to pressure from GrassWorks, as well as other organizations around the country, NRCS has changed the Conservation Stewardship Program to include a “Pastured Cropland” category. While we won’t know for awhile what the average payment per acre will be in this category, the final rule for CSP makes it clear that due to the environmental benefits of using cropland for pasture, these lands should receive a higher payment than rangeland and other land that falls under the “Pasture” category.

Click Here to view Fact Sheet on CSP produced by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition!

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Any farmer engaged in livestock or crop production on eligible land may apply for EQIP. Eligible land includes cropland, range land, pasture, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands, as determined by the Secretary of Ag. Farmers who are currently organic and are adding land can receive approx. $1040 to pay for consultants to help them with the plan, new to organic farmers get approx. $1465. For more info go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/PROGRAMS/EQIP/EQIP_signup/2008_%20EQIP_Signup/index.html

Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Grant Program (GLCI)
There are three types of grazing grants offered under this program: Education, Research and Technical Assistance. The deadlines for all three grants are generally in mid-May. For more information, contact Laura Paine, Division of Agricultural Development, 608-224-5120; laura.paine@wi.gov or go to http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/arm/agriculture/land-water/grazergrant/index.jsp

Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)
Grants may be used for planning activities, for working capital to market value-added agricultural products, and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Although smaller projects may be funded, multi-year and larger projects can also fit this program, however a large match of funds is required. The application deadline is generally in mid-summer. For more info about the program, contact your State Rural Development Office at 800-670-6553 or go to the http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html

WI Dept. of Ag., Trade & Consumer Protection Ag. Development and Diversification (ADD)
The ADD Grant Program invites proposals for projects that are likely to stimulate Wisconsin’s agricultural economy through the development and exploration of new value-added products, new markets, or new technologies in agriculture. ADD grants are awarded competitively each year, with deadlines generally in mid-March. For more info, contact Mike Bandli, 608-224-5136; mike.bandli@datcp.state.wi.us or go to http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/add/index.jsp

Buy Local Buy Wisconsin (BLBW)
Supports projects likely to stimulate Wisconsin’s agricultural economy by increasing the purchase of Wisconsin grown or produced food by local food buyers. Pre-proposals will be accepted from individuals, groups, businesses and organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture, agritourism, food retailing, processing, distribution or warehousing. To learn more contact Teresa Cuperus at 608-224-5101; teresa.cuperus@wisconsin.gov or go to http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/directmktg/blbw.jsp

Wisconsin Producers First Grant Program
Supports small mid-sized farms. Successful applicants will identify a need for technical assistance and receive up to $3000 to hire a consultant to meet that need. Examples of technical assistance include but are not limited to: business planning, accounting and financial organization, packaging and label development, whole farm planning, food safety, grant writing assistance, market development, and cooperative development. Assistance directly related to production does not qualify for this program. Any Wisconsin farmer or producer may apply. Preference will be given to producers selling at least 75% of their products to be consumed within 300 miles of the farm and with at least $35,000 in annual sales. Application materials are available online at http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/marketing/val-add/directmktg/blbw.jsp or by contacting Keefe Keeley at 608-224-5095; keefe.keeley@wi.gov

Federal Resources for Sustainable Farming/Ranching
This 28-page ATTRA guide offers an overview of the major federal conservation programs that provide resources for farmers/ranch­ers to enhance and maintain sustainable farming and ranching practices. Call 800-346-9140 for a hardcopy or download a copy at http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/federal_resources.pdf