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Microgrants available to help farmers access and secure land, expand their farm, or plan a farm transfer

Image of a farm in winter, there is a discussion happening, we can imagine they are learning about the microgrants program

photo credit: American Farmland Trust

Update: The application period for AFT’s first round of Microgrants has closed. Read about the award recipients.

American Farmland Trust (AFT) recently announced the New England Farmer Microgrants Program (NEFMP), which will provide between $500-$5,000 to assist farmers in New England with financial barriers to land access, expanding onto new land, and farm succession planning. 

Grants will fund farmers in two primary categories: professional services and infrastructure costs related to assuring agricultural land is in production. 

The grant program is designed to be simple and to make a real difference for farmers to access land, improve land security, or expand production. They are also intended to leverage other resources (either in-kind from the farmer, or other private and public funds).

Award Amount & Eligible Applicants

  • Grants will be awarded in amounts between $500 and $5,000 per project.
  • Applicants seeking access to farmland, expanding production on new land, or developing a farm succession plan for the purposes of farming will be given primary consideration. 
  • A project may involve an individual farmer, a farm family, a group of farmers with a cooperative business, or a non-profit entity.
  • Eligible applicants and proposed projects must be located in one of the following New England states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, or Rhode Island 

* For this program, AFT defines “farmer” as an individual, group, or organization who are intentionally cultivating annual or perennial crops or animals for harvest. AFT understands farming practices vary widely across New England and across communities. This grant does not support growing or raising products primarily for personal use, but is intended to allow production for community use. Applications that prioritize community-driven food security efforts are strongly encouraged.

All applicants are required to include a brief letter of support from the provider of the desired services funded by the grant. This is designed to simplify the application and validate how funding and services will be used in alignment with the grant program’s goals. It’s also hoped that farmers in New England will get better connected to and more fully leverage the resources of the region’s extensive network and support system. A letter template can be found on the website, along with a list of service providers in the region, listed by category. 

If you want to explore how securing access to land or transferring your farm could be the focus of your application, please get in touch with us so we can connect you to our Field Agent in your state. 

Support from this microgrants program could allow us to work more intensively with you by providing technical assistance and support related to acquiring farms, assessing farm properties, farm leasing, and farm transfer and succession planning. 

Funds can also be used to pay for related advisors and services (like attorneys, soil testing, inspections, etc.) or for infrastructure services.   

If you are looking for a referral for other types of services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. LFG field agents are farmers, and are well-connected with other farm service providers. And as a regional organization, we can likely point you in the right direction.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning March 1st, 2020 and will be reviewed monthly in the order in which they are received. Grants will be approved monthly on a rolling basis until all available funding is distributed.

Read more about New England Farmer Microgrants Program at American Farmland Trust.

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