Grant Resources

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Grants for horticulture growers are limited. The primary sources for such grants are USDA agencies and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture. Most government grants are offered to trade associations like MFGA to help a sector as a whole rather than to benefit an individual grower. MFGA monitors these grants and pursues those that can be of use to our members.

There is a list of Grants and Funding Programs at the MDAR site.

Sign-up for the Farm and Market Report from MDAR for grant announcements as they occur.

USDA Grants

USDA Rural Development offers loans and grants for a variety of activities.
Other than those that are federal-state partnerships, USDA also offers grants and loans through several different federal agencies. Some are for farmers—others are targeted to associations of grower groups, like MFGA.

The USDA Programs and Services Grants and Loans page lists programs that are grants to state departments of agriculture, which then create programs for growers to apply to, for example, Specialty Crops or FSMIP. These federal-state programs are operated by MDAR and will always be announced through them. Click here for the USDA overview.

* = Grower / farmer
** = Non-profit trade association

Click here to subscribe to newsletters from the federal government. You can select from several options on that site. It’s the most timely way to really stay on top of what’s coming out of the federal agencies. On this page, you can select the criteria for the grants you want to hear about.

USDA / SARE

Farmer Grant* — For commercial farmers who want to test a new idea using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. Applications are submitted on line in late November or early December for awards the following spring.
USDA/NRCS – Conservation Innovation Grant

Partnership Grant** — For agricultural service providers—extension staff, consultants, nonprofits, state departments of agriculture, and other advisors in the farm community—who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, or marketing projects with farmers as cooperators. Deadlines are in the fall for awards the following spring.

USDA / NRCS – EQIP
EQIP* traditionally provides grants directly to farmers to develop and implement conservation plans and practices on their farms. Some nurseries have applied for water related projects, and greenhouses could use it for flood benches that reuse water. Click here to contact Massachusetts Natural Resources Conservation or click here to contact your Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts for help.

USDA/NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) */** is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies—funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. If you have an idea to field test, this program might work for you or your organization.

The Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA)* helps agricultural producers use conservation to manage risk and address natural resource issues through natural resources conservation. NRCS administers the AMA conservation provisions, while the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Risk Management Agency implement other provisions under AMA.

USDA/Risk Management Grant**
This program provides grants to grower associations to provide education to growers about ways to avoid a wide array of risks in farming. Risks are broadly defined as everything from pests to macroeconomics and much in-between.

Farm Credit East – Enhancement Program**
This program offers very small grants for projects that will support the industry but not individual farmers, e.g. marketing efforts for MFGA but not for one grower.

* = Grower / farmer
** = Non-profit trade association