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Funding and Support

Compiled by the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN)

Grants and Other Non-Loan Assistance:

USDA Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (ongoing)
USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Rural Businesses
USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) (applications accepted on continuing basis)
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Land Contract Guarantee Program for landowners who are self-financing a sale of land to socially disadvantaged farmers & ranchers (ongoing)Organic Crop Insurance (ongoing)

Loan Programs:

USDA Farm Ownership Loans (ongoing)
USDA Farm Operating Loans (ongoing)
USDA Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (ongoing)
USDA Expands Microloan Program for Buying & Improving Farmland
USDA FSA Down Payment Loan Program for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers (ongoing)
USDA Conservation Loans (ongoing)

Education and Information Resources


Local Table
A guide to food and farming in Middle Tennessee.  Resources include: a large database of growers, and farmers’ markets, as well as news, events, multimedia and grower/producer interviews.

Pick Tennessee Products
Resources include: Farmers Market List, Growers Lists, Farm Attractions, Recipes, and Videos.

TSU Extension
Tennessee State University’s site contains Publications, Webinars and News.

Spiral Ridge Permaculture
A design firm and education center. Explore their website for information on upcoming courses and permaculture certification.


USDA – United States Department of Agriculture
Government agency providing leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

NSAC – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
An alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. Resources include documents on the Farm Bill, Conservation, Local and Regional Food systems, Food Safety and Annual Reports.

ATTRA – National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service
A program for the National Center for Appropriate Technology, collaborating the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Resources include: Directory for Internships and Apprenticeships, Online Q&A, Publication Library, Webinars Videos.

National Good Food Network
“The Wallace Center at Windrock International established a National Good Food Network that:
Serves as a networking, communications, and information hub, providing practical knowledge, learning models, and valuable connections for the broad range of groups, both for-profit and non-profit, involved in building a new good food system, and Stimulates development of important, on-the-ground nodes of regional work by investing in groups and collaborative efforts engaged in scaling up aggregation and sales of good food to more substantial wholesale channels…The National Good Food Network is bringing together people from all parts of the rapidly emerging good food system – producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors and funders – to create a community dedicated to scaling up good food sourcing and access” Resources include: Databases of organizations, funders, individuals, and knowledge as well as many archived Webinars. NOTE: Databases are missing TN organizations and individuals.

A non-profit tasks “to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers…increase the odds for success and enhance the profile and social lives of America’s young farmers.” Resources include: Job List, Network Partner List, Publication Library, and FARM HACK a “community for farm innovation”.

Local Harvest
“America’s #1 organic and local food website. We maintain a definitive and reliable “living” public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources”. Resources include: National registry of farms, forums, newsletters and products for purchase. CSAware software is also available here to help manage CSAs.

Growing for Markets

“Growing for Market is America’s most respected trade publication for local food producers. GFM keeps you informed about the business of growing and selling vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, plants, herbs, and other food products. If you are market gardening or farming, whatever your scale, we guarantee you’ll find valuable information that will help make your business more profitable and enjoyable.”

The Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program “has been the go-to USDA grants and outreach program for farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators who want to develop innovations that improve farm profitability, protect water and land, and revitalize communities. Resources include: Grants Database, Publications, Reports, Videos”. Roy Bullock, of TSU is our local representative for this program

Food Animal Concerns Trust
Food Animal Concerns Trust has published Get Your Farm Funded, a free, 20-page guide that offers tips and insights to farmers looking for grant funding. The guide, available online in PDF, covers strategies for finding funding opportunities, discusses how to systematize the writing process to save time, and offers tips for creating a more successful proposal.

eXtension is an interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America.

Follow these organizations who support smart agricultural policy

NSAC – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
“An alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.”

Southern SAWG – Southern Sustainable Working Group 
Non-profit founded to “empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane.”