The government has made protecting the nation’s food supply a top priority. This commitment has resulted in a number of programs that provide grants for farmers. The goal of these grant programs is to assist farmers in running a profitable business, minimize the environmental impact of farming, and regulate the prices of certain food items.
Farm grants are available to farmers interested in purchasing renewable energy systems or making energy improvements to their property. These grants are administered through the USDA’s Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. Grant money can be used to support projects involving biomass, geothermal, hydrogen, wind, and solar energy.
Many states provide farm grants to support solid waste cleanup projects. Eligible projects are typically those that remove potentially harmful chemicals or prevent water and soil contamination. Grant recipients are often able to receive assistance from environmental protection experts as part of their award.
Floods, tornados, and other natural disasters can be devastating to a farmer. Farm grants through the Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Conservation Program provide funding for farmers and ranchers to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters. Farmers who wish to complete projects that would prevent weather-related damage can receive funding through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Farmers who produce specific products are eligible for grant money. USDA farm grants are available for producers of wheat, feed grains, wool, mohair, honey, dry peas, cotton, rice, soybeans, milk, peanuts, beet and cane sugar, lentils, small chickpeas, and tobacco. The USDA also has the authority to provide discretionary funding for other commodities on an as-needed basis.
Some grant funding that is not awarded directly to the farmer offers indirect benefits. For example, the USDA’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provide coupons to low income families and senior citizens that can be used to purchase fresh produce at area farmer’s markets. The federal government also provides significant funding to organizations that serve farmers with work-related disabilities and provide safety training seminars to the farming community.
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