Federal programs can be a helping hand for people who want to develop innovative, sustainable, enterprises in agriculture and the forestry. A newly updated publication, Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development, is a one-stop guide to find the details about those programs and how to apply for them.
The programs detailed in the publication cover a variety of areas:
Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Sustainable Ranching and Farming Practices
Value Added and Marketing Innovations
Nutrition and Consumer Food Access
Economic Development for Farms, Small Businesses, and Communities
Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation
The publication provides a description along with eligibility and application requirements for each of nearly 70 individual programs. They range from grants and loans to technical assistance and informational resources.
The programs can help farmers, entrepreneurs, community developers, private landowners, conservationists, as well as private and public organizations whether they are for-profit or nonprofit.
“I use these wonderful guides with start-up nonprofits all over the country,” said "Lorna Donaldson, a Tennessee farmer and national sustainable agriculture enterprise consultant. “The guides are especially valuable because most groups I work with aren't familiar with federal programs. It's great having something that's so concise and also helps people understand how to go and look for additional resources."
The publication is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was produced in cooperation with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). USDA agencies and programs that provided major support for the publication include Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), U.S. Forest Service; and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development, is available as free download on the NCAT’s ATTRA program website at www.attra.ncat.org. Paper copies also can be purchased from the website for a small handling fee.