Grants and Cost-Share Opportunities


Value Added Producer Grant (USDA Rural Development) – the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products.

>Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Valued-Added Producer Grant Program

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund – small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) – the Producer Grants program is for individual farmers and farmer groups to conduct research, marketing and education projects.

Speciality Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) – North Carolina Department of Agriculture distributes grant funds to organizations and individuals to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

Cost-Share Funding Programs

Funding for on-farm, innovative projects is available through three NC grant programs. Those interested in applying for funding should visit one of the following websites for more information about grant cycles and funding priorities.

NC AgVentures Grant Program – available statewide

UMO AgPrime Grant Program – available to 33 Eastern NC counties

WNC AgOptions Grant Program – available to 22 Western NC counties

**RAFI-USA previously coordinated the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program which assisted entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups, distributing over $6 million over 22 years. Click here to view a list of past grant recipients.

EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) – provides financial assistance for the cost of implementing conservation practices. Natural Resource Conservation Service provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practice improvements.

High Tunnel System Initiative – through EQIP, farmers can access financial assistance to purchase high tunnels for their operation. EQIP Fact Sheet

EQIP Organic Initiative Conservation Practices for Your Farm – examples of conservation practices that EQIP-OI will finance. (CFSA)

Cold Storage Financing Program – available to NC farmers; provides financing and support to small, midscale and limited resource farmers to acquire portable or stationary cold storage units. A low interest loan from Natural Capital Investment Fund is paired with a NC Growing Together grant that “buys down” the cost of purchasing cold storage units.