Sourcing Funds for Your Business Venture
The USDA has a wide range of financial assistance programs, but finding the right one can be difficult for beginning farmers and value-added producers. With programs changing every year, it is hard to keep up-to-date with each of them. That is why the USDA has released its newly updated guide, Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development. This guide can help value-added producers, researchers, nonprofits, and landowners find programs to help them achieve their goals.
This guide covers 63 government programs which describes each program’s available resources, information on how to apply, and in some cases, examples of how the funding has been used. You will also find basic information on how to design sound projects, find appropriate programs and write grant applications. The Value-Added Producer Grant Program is one of the programs highlighted.
For hard copies or to download the PDF version of Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, click here.
Gardens: Literally and Figuratively Growing
With an increase demand for local foods and knowing where your food comes from, it is no surprise that food gardening in the U.S. is at the highest levels in more than a decade. The National Gardening Association has released a special report to show how growing food in America has changed from 2008-2013.
· 35% of American households are now growing food – up 17% in since 2008
· Americans spent $3.5 billion on food gardening in 2013 – up from $2.5 billion in 2008.
· 76% of all households with a food garden grew vegetables – increase in 19% since 2008.
· From 2008 to 2013 the number of home gardens increased by 4 million to 37 million households, while community gardens tripled from 1 million to 3 million, a 200% increase.
· Households with incomes under $35,000 participating in food gardening grew to 11 million - up 38% from 2008.
View the whole Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America, here.