Farm Aid Resource Guide for Farm Financing

The Carrot Project provides technical support to beginning and experienced farmers.

Photo: The Carrot Project

Creating a financial plan for your farm business will help you achieve your goals. Explore the resources below to learn about agricultural lending, contract agreements, financial planning, loan and grant programs, and more.

Updated Fall 2017.


Do you need farm financing, but don’t know where to begin? Take a look at RAFI’s Farmer’s Guide to Agricultural Credit to help understand agricultural finance and prepare for the credit application process.

Considering contract farming? Make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities by reading the Farmers’ Legal Action Group’s (FLAG) guides to Marketing Contracts or Poultry & Livestock Production Contracts.

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) offers a financing book for new, sustainable farmers called Fearless Farm Finances, as well as a list of funds available for farmers.

Get familiar with the fundamentals of financing via ATTRA’s Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers.


Contact your local Farm Service Agency for information about low-interest loans available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Check out FLAG’s Farmers’ Guide to the Farm Service Agency Microloan Program [PDF link] for everything you need to know about the USDA FSA program.

USDA’s FSA has issued a plain language guide to applying for FSA loans and FSA loan servicing called Your Guide to FSA Loans [PDF link] that is helpful for farmers of all types.

Check out the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Guide for Beginning Farmer Loan Programs offers excellent guidance to FSA programs targeted to the next generation of family farmers.

If you’re interested in federal funding, see the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition‘s list of conservation programs for sustainable agriculture, including deadlines and eligibility requirements. Contact your local NRCS office to learn more.

Check out this guide for Highlighted Farm Service Agency Programs for Small-Scale or diversified Farmers and Ranchers [PDF link] put together by National Center for Appropriate Technology and Community Food Agriculture Coalition.


See The Carrot Project’s list of Farm Financing Options and Loan Programs for smaller and alternative farm operations. Most resources listed are targeted to New England farmers, however the list provides an outline of the different type of financing options available in regions across the country.

Not finding what you need? Request one-on-one assistance from our Farmer Services team, by filling out our Online Request for Assistance form or by calling 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Farm Aid staff are happy to listen and help you however we can.

Also check out our Online Directory of farm service organizations and Farmer Hero stories for additional inspiration and ideas.

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