Badgerland Financial, our regional Farm Credit Administration lender, has just launched a very positive, creative new grant program that supports their customers and others who are interested in farm diversification and food entrepreneurship.
Their 'Beginning With Badgerland' grant program gives up to $1,500 grants to explore and grow food based businesses.
Grants are available to any beginning farmer living in Badgerland Financial territory (see attached map), regardless of age. The farmer needs to have less than ten years of experience operating a farm and should be able to show that farming is a part-time or full-time vocation. (Full text is below)
This program includes the use of funds for developing value-added food products at licensed food processing facilities.
Our Innovation Kitchens can be used to develop these value-added products. We have several programs that enable people to learn about growing their own small value-added food businesses. The Badgerland Financial application is linked below.
There is great demand for regional and specialty foods. This grant program gives Badgerland customers and others a way to grow and build businesses to meet this demand.
This is a great tool for launching and growing farms and food businesses in Wisconsin. Others should emulate.
Download the Badgerland Financial grant application
Badgerland Financial territory map
Below is the full description of the program. Badgerland Financial's emerging market specialist Paul Dietmann's contact information is at the end:
October 23, 2013
Our Beginning with Badgerland Grant program is now up and running. Grants are available to any beginning farmer living in Badgerland Financial territory (see attached map), regardless of age. The farmer needs to have less than ten years of experience operating a farm and should be able to show that farming is a part-time or full-time vocation.
There are three grant funding levels depending on the amount of business—if any--that the farmer does with us:
- Beginning farmers who are Badgerland Financial loan customers with a loan principal balance of $50,000 or more can receive up to $1,500 in grant funding.
- Beginning farmers who use Badgerland Financial’s tax, accounting, or other related services, or have a principal balance of less than $50,000 on loans with us, or are “next generation” farmers that represent the next generation of a farm operation that already has a lending relationship with us (for example, the daughter of a family that has a loan with Badgerland Financial) can receive up to $500 in grant funding.
- Beginning farmers who do not have any business relationship with Badgerland Financial can receive up to $250 in grant funding.
Grant funds can be used to pay for a variety of farm business-related expenses including:
- The first year of tax or farm accounting services from a Badgerland Financial tax consultant or farm accounting specialist
- Purchase of farm accounting software
- Tuition for courses in farm business management, accounting, or related topics
- Registration fees for farm-related conferences or workshops
- Fees for development of a new value-added agricultural product at a licensed food processing establishment
- FSA guarantee fees
- Other farm business expenses
To apply for a grant, the farmer simply needs to fill out a brief application. The Beginning with Badgerland Grant application form is available on our website, www.badgerlandfinancial.com, in the lower right-hand corner of the front page. It can be completed and submitted online, or printed off and mailed, e-mailed, or faxed in. There is no application deadline.
If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a confirmation letter along with a W-9 and a postage-paid return envelope they can use to send receipts for grant-eligible expenses. Expenses will be reimbursed 100% up to the total amount of the recipient’s eligibility level.
In addition to the Beginning with Badgerland grant program, we are developing an e-newsletter for beginning farmers and people who work with beginning farmers (if you’d like to be added to our e-mail list, please let me know). We will also have a Beginning with Badgerland page on our new website, which is slated to be live by mid November.
If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an e-mail.
Emerging Markets Specialist
1430 North Ridge Drive, PO Box 70
Prairie du Sac, WI 53578
608.370.6956 (o) 608.963-7763 (c) 608.643.0116 (f)
Toll free cell: 800.236.3376