Small Farm Funding Resources

Small Farm Funding Resources

Rural Information Center (U.S.)
Beltsville, MD: USDA, National Agricultural Library, Rural Information Center, [2014] Rev.
Updated by Mary Louise Reynnells. June, 2014.
Original edition: September 2005 by Patricia La Caille John.
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This guide contains information about issues to consider before starting a farming operation with links to full-text guides on how to start a farm business and develop business and marketing plans. It also contains information about funding programs for beginning and experienced farmers, technical assistance contacts, disaster assistance, and organizations with resources.

If you are just starting out you may also want to consult the New Farmers website, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Start2Farm website, a service of the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication (or page) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that maybe suitable.

Developing a Farm Business Plan

Financial and Planning Resources

Funding and Program Assistance

State Programs

    You may want to start your financial assistance search with your state Department of Agriculture to see if your state has a Beginning Farmer Loan Program or other type of grants or loans for farming and ranching.

      Locate Departments of Agriculture, by State, List by USDA Risk Management Agency.
      • Types of state agricultural finance programs may be identified through your Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs. Check with your state agriculture department for programs, like Aggie Bonds.

Agricultural Lenders

    Information on Farm Financial Management & Performance can be located on the USDA's Economic Research Service web site.

    Farm Banks: The nation's farm banks (defined by the Federal Reserve Board as banks that have above average proportions of farm real estate and production loans in their loan portfolios) offer a variety of loans to small and large farms and agribusiness firms; they also handle many of the loans made under USDA's guaranteed farm loan programs.

    • American Bankers Association: Agriculture Banking. ABA has a "special section dedicated to providing advocacy, information, training, education, and public relations for banks that make and service agricultural loans or provide credit and other financial services to those living and working in rural America for nearly 100 years."

    Farm Credit System (FCS): The FCS is a network of federally chartered borrower-owned lending institutions and related service organizations that specialize in providing credit and related services to farmers (also young and beginning), ranchers, and producers or harvesters of aquatic products. Additional information about the FCS is available from the Farm Credit Administration at

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Veteran Resources

Agriculture Disaster Assistance

Organizations and Web Sites

USDA, Rural Information Center
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 123
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351