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American Farmland Trust’s New England Farmer Microgrants Program
This new program, launched in 2020, assists farmers in New England with financial barriers to accessing farmland, farm succession/transfer planning, and the adoption of regenerative farming practices. This grant program currently offers two separate funding opportunities. Most funds will be awarded as $10,000 grants through the Western New England Regenerative Livestock Farming conservation partnership project, aimed at livestock producers in select counties. A smaller number of awards will be granted through the Farmland Access, Succession, and Transfer Support funding opportunity, in amounts of $5,000 each, for farmers anywhere in New England. For the Farmland access support funding opportunity, grant awards ranging from $500-$5,000 may be provided for projects that facilitate farmland access or farm succession/transfer. Applications that prioritize community-driven food security efforts are strongly encouraged. The next round of applications will be accepted from October 10 to November 4.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) Fund-A-Farmer Grants
This program offers grants of up to $2,500 to livestock farms nationwide for projects that improve farm animal welfare together with increasing the environmental and financial sustainability of farm operations. In 2023 alone, over $250,000 was distributed to 87 farms. FACT currently offers three types of grants: 1) grants of to help farmers get animal welfare certifications; 2) grants to help farms transition to or improve pasture-based systems, and 3) grants to build animal welfare-certified farms’ capacity and/or markets (note that awards for capacity-building applications are available up to $2,500 for an individual farm applicant, or up to $5,000 for joint applicants). Applications are typically accepted during the months of October and November.
Harold Grinspoon Foundation Local Farmer Awards
Launched in 2015 in partnership with Big Y – funders include the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Big Y along with Ann & Steve Davis, Friendly’s, HP Hood LLC, Farm Credit East, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, Baystate Health and, new in 2019, Eastern States Exposition – the Local Farmer Awards provide grants of up to $2,500 to fund physical infrastructure improvements on farms located in western Massachusetts. A farmer appreciation event is held yearly for all applicants and awardees to honor and recognize farmers and promote the importance of local farming. In 2023, awards were given to 97 local farmers. Applications are typically accepted during the month of January.
Massachusetts Farm Energy Program
Provides technical assistance and monetary support for farmers in conducting energy audits and completing the prerequisites and applications for grants focused on energy conservation and renewable energy (including REAP, EQIP, and state grants). The program also offers farmers up to $5,000 toward energy efficiency upgrades, based on the amount of energy to be saved by the upgrades.
The FruitGuys Community Fund
This nationwide program awards up to $5,000 grants to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for projects that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of their communities. Successful proposals may promote sustainability through water conservation, natural pest control, soil health, pollination, or energy efficiency, or pursue community-building through equitable food access or support for underrepresented farmers, including BIPOC and women farmers. Applications will be accepted during the month of January, with a deadline of January 30th. Apply here.
The National Young Farmers Coalition’s Young Farmer Grants
This program, which began in 2020, offers 50 $5,000 grants each year to young farmers nationwide. Funds can cover any cost that currently limits your ability to start, run, or grow your operation in the way you’d like, such as — completing a project, purchasing a new piece of equipment, covering operating costs such as seeds and compost, building new infrastructure, attending a farmer training program or conference, hiring additional farm labor, or covering personal finances that stand in the way of farm success, including but not limited to childcare, housing, or student loan payments. This funder commits to providing at least 50% of awards to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, and providing at least 50% to female-identifying, non-binary, and trans farmers. Applications are typically due in January.
Application to the following programs requires partnership with a Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) Provider (of which CISA is one), who will serve as a sponsor to the applicants. CISA will sponsor eligible applicants who are Local Hero members (farms, restaurants, specialty food producers and others who are for-profit businesses) and non-Local Hero farms in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties owned by women, BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, U.S. Military Veterans, disabled individuals, LGBTQ+, and farm businesses operating in Gateway Cities. If interested please reach out to Zoraia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis until funds are fully disbursed.
The Biz-M-Power crowdfunding matching grant program offers small businesses in Massachusetts financial assistance with their acquisition, expansion, improvement or lease of a facility, purchase or lease of equipment, or with meeting other capital needs for the business. Eligible applicants will be empowered to advance their business with an innovative approach to obtaining capital. Through crowdfunding campaigns, these businesses connect with their local residents and stakeholders to advance projects that support economic success and transformation for their business and in their communities. This program is funded by the Commonwealth’s Operating Budget, which appropriated $7,500,000 for this program.
Businesses must crowdfund a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $20,000 to receive a 2:1 matching grant from MGCC between $3,000 and $40,000. The combination of crowdfunding dollars and 2:1 matching grant from MGCC, businesses can earn $60,000+ through this program.
Patronicity Fee: Set at 5% of the crowdfunding funds raised. Additionally, there is a 2.6% plus $0.30/transaction credit card fee collected by Stripe, the payment processor used by Patronicity. Donors have the option to cover all fees at checkout, thus reducing overall fees incurred to the project.