Several government grant and loan programs assist cattle breeders with the costs of starting their business. Cattle breeders raise their own animals for sale or future breeding. Typical tasks include fixing and cleaning cattle shelters, feeding and watering cattle, and overseeing the animal's health. Cattle breeders need to have knowledge of breeding methods, product marketing skills, business management skills, a farming facility and equipment to start a cattle-breeding business.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program supports beginning farmers and ranchers with training, education and technical assistance. Funding can go toward providing paid internships to farmers who want to start a cattle-breeding business. Other eligible costs include business management practices, marketing and legal strategies. The goal of the program is to encourage careers in agricultural and support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers who lack the resources to obtain training and skills.
USDA Small Business Innovation Research
The Small Business Innovation Research program provides grants to help small business agricultural producers, including cattle breeders, with their research efforts. The goal of the program is to support scientific and technological innovation in agriculture. Grants up to $600,000 are provided over the course of 32 months to advance research in agriculture that can lead to significant public benefit. To qualify for a grant, the small business must have less than 500 employees. At least 51 percent of the business must be owned and operated by a U.S. citizen. An example of an eligible project is studying feed efficiency that can decrease bovine respiratory disease.
State Grant Programs
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Livestock Investment Grant Program is available to Minnesota residents. Cattle breeders are eligible to apply for a grant that covers 10 percent of their costs to acquire, construct or make improvements to facilities. The grant also reimburses the cost to purchase equipment for livestock housing, confinement, feeding and waste management. The New Hampshire Nutrient Management Grant Program provides up to $2,500 to help pay for livestock fencing, barn roof gutters or controlled wetland crossings.
Beginning Farmer Loan Program
The USDA's Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loan program provides direct loans up to $300,000 to beginning farmers and ranchers. The USDA also makes loan guarantees up to $1,119,000. Cattle breeders in business for less than 10 years are eligible for a loan; however, the owner must have participated in the business operation for a minimum of three years. Beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers are also eligible for a special loan down payment program for the purchase of farmland.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Livestock Investment Grant Program
- New Hampshire Department of Agriculture: Markets and Food: Agricultural Nutrient Management Grant Program
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: USDA SBIR Eligibility Requirements
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Loans for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Fact Sheet
Davina Price has been writing since 2003, specializing in grant and technical writing for government and nonprofit organizations. She currently is a licensed real-estate agent in Southern California and specializes in working with first-time home buyers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Southern California.