How to Get Funding for Your Farm
Need help navigating the waters of getting funding for your farm business? Here are some great options that can get you the capital you need to get growing.
Why do I need funding for my farm?
Whether you’re just getting started on your farming journey, or are looking to expand your current farm, you’re going to need a bit of money to grow. Having funding can help you meet demand for your products, finance new ways of storing, transporting, and selling your crops, and even help you explore new ways of generating revenue on your farm, like agritourism perhaps.
As a farmer, you know that community is everything when it comes to a farm. Whether they’re the people who help you out on the farm or those who gather around your farmer’s market booth, other people are integral to your business. And there are ways that you as a farmer can strengthen that relationship with your customers!
For example, you might have a work-share program where you offer produce in exchange for volunteer labor from your customers. However, a sure-fire way of getting your community involved in your farm and helping you finance your growth is by running a crowdfunding campaign.
Cherry Valley Organics, for one, ran a crowdfunding campaign with Honeycomb Credit to grow their production of herbal teas out of their farm. Owner Jodi Danyo said of the experience, “The investments were kind of circling in, and most of them were really small,” says Jodi about the beginning of the campaign. “Then we started to get other investments that were more sizable, more than $1,000 or $5,000 or $2,000. It helped us gain momentum.”
“The whole last week of the campaign was really exciting because we just got so many investors at the eleventh hour,” she continues. “To me, that was a huge boost for this season, and it really did show that we did have a lot of people investing in us, and having that many people pledge some commitment to Cherry Valley Organics is really exciting.”
A common means of funding farms is through loans through the USDA. There are loans out there for a variety of special farm characteristics, such as the Beginning Farmers loan. There are ownership loans that can help you pay for land or new buildings on it, and operating loans that can help pay for new equipment or processes.
Grants are another common way that farmers - especially first-time farmers - get started. The government offers a number of different grants, largely for farmers who plant specialty crops or raise specialty livestock like sheep.
Start a CSA program
A low-cost means of financing your farm in the short term can be running a CSA program. If you need a bit of extra funding to pay for your start-up costs for the season such as seeds and fertilizer, you can get your customers to pay up-front for a weekly (or biweekly) share of your harvest when it’s ready.
Farming is a team sport - why not let your community help you finance it?
With a Honeycomb Credit crowdfunded small business loan, you can get the seeds planted with the help of your community. Find out more by filling out the form below.