Farm Aid Grant Program

Farm Aid's grantees are critical on-the-ground partners across the country in the movement to keep family farmers on the land, producing good food for all. Farm Aid provides grants to IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit (family farm and rural service) organizations in the United States that support family farm agriculture within three program areas:

Helping Farmers Thrive

Grants in this category fund organizations that provide farmers with the tools and resources they need to get started on the land, access new markets, transition to more sustainable farming practices, produce renewable fuels and stay on the land in the face of financial crisis and natural disasters.

Taking Action to Change the System

Grants in this category fund organizations that promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns to defend and bolster family farm agriculture, lifting the voices of family farmers and promoting their interests on a local, regional or national level.

Growing the Good Food Movement

Grants in this category fund organizations that are creating innovative programs that build local and regional food systems, connecting farmers directly to consumers and creating new value-added markets for family farmers.

Grant Application Guidelines

Letter of Inquiry

Interested applicants who are new to Farm Aid's grant program (or have not received funding in the last three years) should submit a Letter of Inquiry. Please use our sample Letter of Inquiry [PDF / DOC] for your submission and note:

  • Letters of Inquiry should be mailed or submitted electronically to grants@farmaid.org by May 1st of each year.
  • Farm Aid grant awards generally fall in the range of $3,000-$10,000.
  • Remember to identify which grant category your organization is applying for (Helping Farmers Thrive, Taking Action to Change the System or Growing the Good Food Movement)
  • Farm Aid can only grant to IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt verification letter or include the IRS 501(c)(3) letter and authorization from the organization acting as their fiscal agent.
  • Farm Aid will invite a full grant proposal from competitive applicants (see below) by mid-July.

The following types of projects are not eligible for Farm Aid funding:

  • Grants or loans to individuals
  • Grants or loans to the commercial operation of a farming enterprise
  • Production of book, film, television or radio projects
  • Projects outside the United States
  • Projects directed or substantially funded by government bodies (federal, state, local)
  • Legal defense funds
  • Capital campaigns, equipment purchases, endowments or deficit financing
  • Historic preservation of farmland or buildings
  • Conferences, publications, or research projects unless they are directly connected to ongoing program activities

Farmers and ranchers looking for assistance should visit our Help for Farmers page.

Full Proposal

Applicants invited to submit full proposals should send the following via mail, postmarked by August 1st. Full proposals sent via email will not be accepted.

Full proposals should include the following:

1. Basic Contact Info
Download a coversheet for your grant application (DOC)

2. Introduction Proposal Summary (maximum 200 words)
Include an explanation for which grant category your project should be considered.

3. Body of the Proposal
Project description (maximum word count 300) should include the following information:

  • Problems or needs the project addresses
  • Who the project helps/target audience
  • What other organizations are involved as collaborative partners
  • How the project relates to similar efforts by other organizations

Project Goals and Objectives (maximum word count 750)

  • Goals should be clear statements about what the project aims to achieve.
  • Objectives should contain a precise explanation of what the project will achieve in terms of measurable, attainable elements.

Strategies and Timeline
This section should contain a detailed explanation of the work you intend to engage in to attain the stated goals and objectives, and a time frame for each strategy.

Proposals that do not provide adequate detail, particularly on goals, objectives and strategies, cannot be considered for funding.

4. Budget Information

Please include:

  • Amount you are requesting from Farm Aid
  • Organization's current operating budget
  • Detailed project budget
  • Most recent complete year's organizational audited financial statement (expenses, revenue and balance sheet), if available
  • A copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt verification letter. If you do not have 501(c)(3) status, you must include the IRS 501(c)(3) letter and authorization from the organization acting as your fiscal agent.

5. Supplemental Information

  • History and major accomplishments (maximum word count 100)
  • Current programs and activities (maximum word count 100)
  • List of board of directors and staff members including contact information

6. Organizational Impact

  • Number of members
  • Percentage of members who are farmers
  • Number of farmers reached through hotline, outreach and educational workshops
  • Number of people in attendance at your meetings, conferences and seminars
  • Supporting material — recent newsletter and annual report, articles, news clippings, letters of support

For more information about Farm Aid's Grant Program, contact grants@farmaid.org.