Government grants are available for the purchase of farm equipment and can be used, in addition to buying farm equipment, to help rehabilitate farms after natural disasters or to improve farm labor conditions. To become eligible for these grants, applicants must have satisfied the conditions set by the grant program. Recipients do not have to repay the grants; however, they may be required to match a percentage of the financial award.
Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants
Sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, the Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants program provides funds to farm owners to develop housing for their farm workers. Grants can be used to acquire land, repair, construct or purchase housing for seasonal and year-long laborers. Funds can also be used to build facilities such dining areas, small infirmaries, daycare centers and laundromats as well as purchasing equipment. Workers must be permanent U.S. residents to stay in housing or to use the facilities. State and tribal agencies, nonprofit corporations of farm workers, public and private nonprofit organizations and individuals who show the need for funding are eligible to apply. Recipients are required to match at least 10 percent of the financial award. For more information, contact: Multi-Family Housing Processing Division Rural Housing Service Department of Agriculture Washington, DC 20250 202-720-1604 rurdev.usda.gov
Livestock Assistance Program
Farm owners who have experiences grazing losses because of a federally declared disaster can receive financial assistance from the Livestock Assistance Program (LAP). Funded by the Department of Agriculture, this program provides livestock producers with unrestricted use of funds to rebuild their farms after a natural disaster such as a flood, hurricane, fire, drought or earthquake. To be eligible livestock producers must have experienced a 40 percent or more loss in grazing for three consecutive months following a natural disaster, have grazing land in a county or parish approved by LAP and are actively engaged in farming. However, they must not have annual revenues in excess of $2.5 million and less than 10 percent of their revenue from livestock production. For more information, contact: Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Production, Emergencies, and Compliance Division Emergency Preparedness and Program Branch Stop 0517 1400 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20250-0517 202-720-7641 fsa.usda.gov
Farmers are able to apply for grants to purchase equipment among other things to perform emergency conservation measures to control wind erosion on farmlands. The Department of Agriculture sponsors the Emergency Conservation Program, which will also fund the rehabilitation of farmland after a natural disaster and to carry out emergency water conservation measures during periods of drought. This program is open to any agricultural producer who bears a part of the cost of an approved conservation practice in a disaster area. For more information, contact: USDA/FSA/CEPD Stop 0513 1400 Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20250-0513 202-720-6221 fsa.usda.gov
- farm image by Richard McGuirk from Fotolia.com