How to Fund Your Farm

  • The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education SARE Program provides technical support and grant funding for research and education projects in sustainable agriculture. A SARE resource usually offers technical support. Farmers can use grants for making their farms more sustainable and less wasteful. The website hosts a database of past funded projects.  These reports are helpful to farmers who want to learn from other projects or get ideas for new projects.
  • The Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program (FMPP) and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offer grants that can be used during planning or growing local food businesses. Activities can include market research, studies that show if a project is possible, and business plans.
  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) is an insurance plan that provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm.
  • The Community Development Loan Fund may provide gap financing (a loan that a property owner borrows against their current property to buy new property) for projects that help people get local and fresh foods. Souris Basin Planning Council also has a Revolving Loan Fund  and Gap Financing Fund  for start-up and growing businesses.
  • North Central Planning Council also offers a Revolving Loan and Community Development Loan to support value-added agricultural businesses.  Specialty farms may be eligible.
  • The Bank of North Dakota‘s First Time Farmer Finance Program helps first time farmers in North Dakota to buy agricultural property at low interest rates.  Other resources at the Bank of North Dakota include the Beginning Farmer Chattel Loan, which helps beginning ranchers with purchase of equipment and livestock and the Beginning Farmer Real Estate Loan which helps a farmer or rancher buy farm land. Click here to find information on all of the Ag Loans from the Bank of North Dakota.
  • Your community, county or bank may also have resources that help rural development. Ask your local community and county economic development (sometimes known as jobs development) agencies about incentives like low interest loans, interest buydown programs, gap financing and grants.  Ask your bank if they have any programs that help farm businesses start or grow.