ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

Grants and Loans


ASAP has compiled the following list of grants and loans available to farmers in the Southern Appalachian region. As we learn about new opportunities, we will be sure to add them. For a comprehensive listing of all federal funding opportunities that foster innovative enterprise in forestry and agriculture, please consult the SARE guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, and Community Development.

Note: Contact grant and loan providers directly for the most up-to-date information.

GRANT — USDA NRCS: Conservation Stewardship Program

The Conservation Stewardship Program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment. Read More ▶▶

GRANT — USDA NRCS: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland.Read More ▶▶

GRANT — USDA Rural Development: Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

USDA Rural Development offers funding to install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy audits and feasibility studies to eligible applicants through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).Read More ▶▶

GRANT — USDA Rural Development: Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG)

USDA Rural Development offers Value-Added Producer Grants to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and others for eligible economic planning activities and working capital expenses related to producing value-added products.Read More ▶▶

GRANT — USDA: Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)

The RBEG program funds projects that facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses, distance learning networks, and employment-related adult education programs.Read More ▶▶

GRANT — WNC AgOptions

WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2016. The application deadline is Nov. 13.Read More ▶▶

LOAN — Golden Leaf Small Business Assistance Fund

Self-Help offers the Golden LEAF Small Business Assistance Fund, which aims to create jobs by helping businesses expand. Emphasis on economically-distressed and rural communities in North Carolina (Tier 1, Tier 2 and formerly tobacco-dependent Tier 3 counties).Read More ▶▶

LOAN — NC Rural Center: Microenterprise Loan Program

The NC Rural Center has funding to work with individuals who have sound ideas for starting or expanding a small business but may not qualify for bank credit. The program offers loans ranging from $500-$25,000 and provides assistance to help clients develop strong applications and successful businesses. Since launching in 1989, the program has made more than 1,600 loans totaling more than $9 million.Read More ▶▶

LOAN — USDA FSA: Direct Farm Ownership Loan

Through the FSA direct farm ownership program, eligible farmers and ranchers can borrow up to $300,000 to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation. Read More ▶▶

LOAN — USDA Rural Development: Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans (B&I)

B&I Guaranteed Loans are used to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities.Read More ▶▶
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