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Northeast Roundup: Dairy consultant grants available for dairy farmers in Pennsylvania

March 29, 2024

2 Min Read
hand holding a bag of money
GET A GRANT: If you are a new or beginning farmer with two years or less experience, you can apply for a $10,000 grant through Horizon Farm Credit’s JumpStart program. Andrii Yalanskyi/Getty Images

Are you a new or beginning farmer with two years or less experience, or planning to start farming in the next two years?

Apply for a $10,000 grant through Horizon Farm Credit’s JumpStart program. Applications are open through April 19.

JumpStart is a new and beginner farmer grant program from Horizon Farm Credit. Up to 15 farmers are awarded a grant of $10,000 to help get them started on their agricultural journey.

Both Farm Credit customers and non-customers can apply if meeting these requirements for eligibility:

  • resides in Horizon Farm Credit’s territory

  • is 18 years of age or older by the application close date

  • have completed a business plan

  • complete the Ag Biz Basics course

Ag Biz Basics is the online learning series that is required as part of the grant application. The program includes four modules that take about 30 to 60 minutes each to complete. It is free to grant applicants.

Farm Credit will track completion in cooperation with Farm Credit University, which offers the course. You must complete the full Ag Biz Basics coursework by 4 p.m. April 15 to be eligible for the grant.

Grant funds must be used for agriculture purposes to support your farm business within two years of receiving the grant, on such items as equipment, livestock or operating expenses. You may also use funds for startup services including business planning or legal fees.

Grant recipients will be required to complete a grant acceptance agreement upon receiving the grant, indicating that they will use the funds appropriately.

To apply, visit Horizon Farm Credit. For questions regarding Ag Biz Basics registration status, contact [email protected].

Winners will be notified in late May and invited to a ceremony this summer.

Apply for dairy grants

The Center for Dairy Excellence has a few grants remaining for the Dairy Decisions Consultant Grant Program for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Dairy farm families can work with a professional consultant with firsthand experience in the dairy industry to make decisions in one of seven strategic areas.

Leveraging funds provided through the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the grants pair dairy families with professional consultants who offer one-on-one support to make strategic business decisions.

The Center for Dairy Excellence has a list of about 22 consultants with expertise in different business sectors. Farms can receive up to $4,000 to work with a consultant who can help enhance business performance, reach financial benchmarks and explore new opportunities.

Consultants can work with farms in one of seven strategic areas:

  1. employee management and communication

  2. business planning and structure 

  3. product marketing and labeling 

  4. direct marketing 

  5. animal welfare 

  6. financial management 

  7. pre-farm transition 

If your farm already has a consultant in mind, that person can be named within the application for approval by the center. Farms are eligible to receive the DDC grant once every three years.

Farms must complete an application and submit a required $100 application fee to participate in each program.

Visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/ddc to learn more and apply online. Contact Melissa Anderson at 717-788-0296 or [email protected] with questions.

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