• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Starting from scratch... Fed/State/Private Grant money possibilities?

 
                                          
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi,  I'm new to this forum and am very excited to have found it.  My boyfriend and I are trying to save money for a smallish parcel of land on which to build sustainable housing, create a permaculture garden and food forest, and create a self sustaining environment in which to live (and eventually show others/share with others the process of such).

The problem with saving money is that gas and food prices are rising, we are in the process of moving (again) to a more reasonably priced area and we already live frugally.  I was wondering if anyone knew if there were grants we could attain for our "project" from the federal/state government or a privately funded organization?  In fact, any advice would be appreciated on starting anew, living (even more) frugally, or acquiring grants to purchase land for sustainable practices.

Thank you,
Allyson
 
                                
Posts: 49
Location: Elmira, ny
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check and see if your state department of agriculture has loan programs for new farmers. My state (NY) does. The USDA Farm Service Agency also has farm loan programs. One is for a part of a downpayment on a farm for people just starting out. You can see if what you are planning could fit into the concept of a farm by looking at their application info.
 
Sabin Howard
Posts: 21
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/   The EQIP program offers up to a 90% payback for approved projects if you are considered a new farmer.  I believe a new farmer is defined as someone who has farmed for less than 10 years.  They will repay large portions of fencing for rotational grazing.  I think there is also ways to get a hightunnel payed for.  Virtually any "conservation" project can be approved and partially payed for.
 
            
Posts: 77
Location: Northport, Wash.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some more links to try:

http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=2&tax_level=2&tax_subject=301&level3_id=0&level4_id=0&level5_id=0&topic_id=1445&&placement_default=0

http://www.beginningfarmers.org/
I believe the link above has a program where they hook you up with a retiring farmer who has no one to take over their farm, and would work a deal with someone who would like to take it over.

Try searching "beginning farmer" or something similar, I found a lot of info when I did.

You might also consider an intentional community with a farm base.  Not all of them are communes, but you should also be careful to make sure you get something for your efforts if that does interest you, a lot of them are just looking for what amounts to slave labor, but not all.  Some of them offer a legitimate deal for the right people.

Grants are typically offered for research type projects, and not just to buy land for a farm.  But there are a lot of programs for very low interest or no interest loans to buy farm land, some with zero down, the beginning farmer link above has lots of great info for anyone wanting to get into farming.
 
                                
Posts: 41
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is also rural development loans.  Usually these loans have a very low interest rate less than 5% and are specifically geared towards helping people populate rural areas.
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_Loans.html
 
Terri Matthews
Posts: 468
Location: Eastern Kansas
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I cannot help you with land, but many states have a forestry department that will sell tiny fruit trees for about $1 each.

This spring I got 26 native American plum trees that way, and they are doing well. They are about 18 inches tall but healthy.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Consider finding a local county or watershed land trust and try to figure out how to become a 'conservation buyer'.  They often cultivate relationships with people who want their land to not become developed and are familiar with the grant programs... They might be able to set you up with a land purchase, but it would come stripped of development rights so that a portion would always remain either farmland or habitat, usually with a third party legal interest on the title.  The granting agency basically reduces the acquisition cost in exchange for the land providing public benefit in perpetuity with the land trust administering the rights.  Permaculture gardens, particularly zone 3 and 4 can provide many habitat functions while still providing yield.  NRCS is the right place to go for 'Farm Bill Money' related to conservation.
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I second the suggestion for seedlings from the state dept of whatever.  I've put in 150 nut, fruit, firewood and N fixer seedlings this spring, at ~$.50 each, including shipping.

Check your state for help.  I do not know of any programs to help you buy land, but my state has lots programs to help farmers.  Unfortunately, they all require 5+ acres to participate, and I only have 3.   

If you can get a larger parcel than you need to support yourself, perhaps because some of it is marginal (eg rocky, too steep, inaccessible), look for programs which pay you not to use it.  Like native grasses, not logging your woods or not starting a dairy farm.   
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
286
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been looking at properties in several areas, and have come to the conclusion that Texas acreage is VERY expensive (especially when weighing in the productivity factor).  If you seek affordable land, look at the Ozarks or, Appalachia.  Also, since those areas provide fewer "services" to the community, property taxes are much lower.  If you demand new schools, libraries, museums, etc, you will need to bite the bullet and be willing to pay for them with property taxes.  Another way to save on taxes (in many states) is to use a mobile home instead of a structure.  Many states do not consider them as "improvements", and hence, they are not taxed.
 
Kyle Petrozza
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For others who find this in the future, here are many links that I've found useful in my current funding search.

In no particular order:

http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Farmer-Grant
https://www.barnraiser.us/
http://www.americanfarmmortgage.com/farm-real-estate-loans/
http://www.mafc.com/
http://www.usdaloanagency.com/application-checklist/
https://www.farmcrediteast.com/
http://www.marbidco.org/loans/mrbif.html -- Similar resources and organizations may exist for your state/region
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?area=newsroom&subject=landing&topic=pfs&newstype=prfactsheet&type=detail&item=pf_20120120_farln_en_lcgrnt.html
http://www.aglease101.org/
http://www.pafarmlink.org/farms_available.html

If nothing else, it's a start. Don't forget to hit up your nearest Extension program. Say what you will about organized ag efforts, the University of Maryland Extension folks have been great to us.

-Kyle
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!