Fund your farm project through grants (Credit Corner)
(Editor’s note: Keith Wills is a Learning Solutions Specialist Strategist with MidAtlantic Farm Credit.)
Planning for a project, improvement, or best management practice on your farm can be both exciting and overwhelming.
Working through the logistics can be difficult if you are unsure about how the project will be funded.
When purchasing a farm, equipment or land, the answer can be as simple as taking out a loan with an agricultural lender like Farm Credit.
But implementing projects often requires alternative methods of funding, like grants.
Once you have a project idea or plan that could benefit from a grant, there are a few things you need to do before you apply.
First, decide if you are looking for a federal or private grant opportunity by doing research on the available options.
Then, you will want to familiarize yourself with the overall grant lifecycle, determine if your entity meets the eligibility criteria, define the right funding type for your needs, and learn about the reporting requirements to comply with the grant.
Grants come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter which agricultural grant suits you and your operation, you’ll still need to apply to be evaluated as a recipient.
There are certain ways that you can be sure your grant proposal stands out from the other applicants:
• Compose an outstanding title. This is an important component of the application and makes the first impression. Make the title easy to understand and actively describe the grant proposal.
• Write a clear, concise abstract that can stand alone. This should be the last thing that you write and is similar to a business plan executive summary.
• Frame the need for the grant using an effective problem statement. This will establish a framework for the project’s goals, methods, and evaluation.
• Create a well thought-out project with goals, several objectives related to the goals, and many methodological steps to each objective.
• Draft objectives that discuss who is going to do what, when they will do it, and how it will be measured.
• Develop a realistic budget. Funders like to see where cost share or matching funds are being invested into a project.
• Submit high quality letters of support and commitment.
Give us a call at 888-339-3334 or visit mafc.com for more information and to discuss your next agricultural endeavor.