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About CIFT


CIFT Resources

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) has assisted federal and state agencies in conducting outreach encouraging and educating agribusinesses on the availability of various funding sources.  Equally, CIFT works with applicants to review, plan, prepare and submit proposals for agricultural projects and enterprises.  Securing funds enhances the implementation of value-added agriculture within the state of Ohio and establishes opportunities for advancement.

Grants.gov is a great source to find and apply for federal government grants.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proud to be the managing partner for Grants.gov, an initiative that is having an unparalleled impact on the grant community.  Learn more about Grants.gov and determine if you are eligible for grant opportunities offered on this site.

A Quick Reference Guide to Growth Financing was established to assist Manufacturing Extension Partnership (commonly called MEP) centers, field staff, and interested partenrs to better understand some general financial options, programs and techniques for small and medium-sized enterprises and clients companies in pursuing growth-oriented strategies.

In addition, CIFT has compiled a list of potential funding resources whch are listed below.  (Know that this is not a comprehensive listing, but it is a representative sampling of available funding resources.)


Please click on the desired grant or loan for additional details.

 



166 Regional Loan Program

Funding Source:  Ohio Department of Development
Grant Description:  The Ohio 166 Regional Loan financing Program provides loans for businesses locating or expanding in Northwest Ohio who demonstrate that they will create or retain new jobs.
Who is Eligible:  Eligible borrowers include any operating business entity which demonstrates that its fixed asset expansion project will create jobs in Northwest Ohio. This loan program may lend funds to any for-profit business engaged in manufacturing, distribution, or commerce, excluding retail.
Grant Value:  Max $350,000. The maximum participation in any one project cannot exceed 40 percent.  Actual participation based on additional criteria.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  Visit the Ohio Department of Development website
Comments:  Additional information is published on the development financing page at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority website.


Basic 7(a) Loan Guaranty
 

Funding Source:  US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Grant Description:  Guaranteed loans made to small businesses by lenders. Can be used for most sound business purposes including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and building, etc.
Who is Eligible:  Qualified small businesses who may not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels.
Grant Value:  Max $2 million
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Small Business Administration (SBA) website


Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans

Funding Source:  USDA - Rural Development
Grant Description:  Helps create jobs and stimulates rural economies by providing financial backing for rural businesses. This program provides guarantees up to 80 percent of a loan made by a commercial lender.
Who is Eligible:  Virtually any legally organized entity, including a cooperative, corporation, partnership, trust or other profit or nonprofit entity, Indian tribe or Federally recognized tribal group, municipality, county, or other political subdivision of a State.
Grant Value:  Max $25 million for individuals; Max $40 million for cooperatives
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Rural Development website
Comments:  Applications must be made through your state Rural Development Office.  For a list of offices, click here.


Business Ventures

Funding Source:  Farm Credit Services of Mid America
Grant Description:  Loans and leases for a business or other venture not directly related to agriculture (i.e., purchasing a veterinary clinic, small manufacturing facility, restaurant).  Financing also available for farm processing, servicing, and marketing-related enterprises.
Who is Eligible:  Full or part-time farmers located in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky (except Jackson Purchase area), or Ohio (except Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Crawford, Wyandot and Marion counties).
Grant Value:  Based on credit worthiness and total value of agricultural assets.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Farm Credit Services of Mid America website
 

Certified Development Company 504 Loan Program

Funding Source:  US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Grant Description:  Provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for fixed asset projects such as: purchasing land and improvements, including existing buildings, etc.
Who is Eligible:  Small for-profit businesses; job creation and retention criteria.
Grant Value:  Max $4 million
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Small Business Administration (SBA) website
Comments:  Additional information is published on the Development Financing page at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority website.


Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership and Operating Loans

Funding Source:  USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Grant Description:  FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loans (OL) to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed, and supplies.
Who is Eligible:  Family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution, or other lender.
Grant Value:  Direct - Max $300,000; Guaranteed - Max $949,000
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA) website
  

Down Payment Farm Ownership Ownership Program

Funding Source:  USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Grant Description:  Assists beginning farmers and ranchers to purchase a farm or ranch.  This program also provides a means for retiring farmers and ranchers to transfer their land to a future generation.
Who is Eligible:  A beginning farmer or rancher who has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years and meets the loan eligibility requirements.
Grant Value:  Lesser of: 45 percent of:  (a) the purchase price of the farm or ranch acquired; (b) the appraised value of the farm or ranch acquired; (c) $500,000; this results in a maximum loan of $225,000.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA) website 
Comments:
  Access website or contact your local FSA office.


Farm Real Estate

Funding Source:  Farm Credit Services of Mid America
Grant Description:  Funding to purchase a farm, refinance a current mortgage, expanding or making long-term improvements on your farm.
Who is Eligible:  Must be a farm producer, own agricultural land, or be engaged in the production of agricultural products and must be located in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky (except Jackson Purchase area), or Ohio (except Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Crawford, Wyandot and Marion counties).
Grant Value:  Based on credit need and approval.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Farm Credit Services of Mid America website
 

Farmer Rancher Grant Program

Funding Source:  USDA North Central Region (NCR) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Grant Description:  Competitive grants to farmers and ranchers for on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.
Who is Eligible:  Any farmer/rancher or group of farmers/ranchers whose project will benefit the North Central Region at least as much as other parts of the world may apply.
Grant Value:  Max - Individual $6,000; Group $18,000
Deadline:  August - Call for Proposals; December - Proposals Due; March - Authors Notified on Status of Proposal; April - Funds Available to Recipients
 

Financial Services and Loans

Funding Source:  AgCredit
Grant Description:  Member-owned agricultural lending cooperative servicing agriculturally-related enterprises for real estate, farm improvement, equipment, and operating loans.
Who is Eligible:  Full-time farmers, part-time farmers, and businesses which process or market agricultural products. AgCredit serves 18 counties in northwest and northcentral Ohio.
Grant Value:
  Based on credit need and approval.
Deadline:  N/A
Access website or contact your local AgCredit branch office.


Food Systems and Rural Development Grants

Funding Source:  W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Grant Description:  The Kellogg Foundation makes grants to organizations that embrace a similar mission of creating communities, systems,and nations in which all children have an equitable and promising future - one in which all children thrive.  Our grants will fund programs and projects that support children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.
Who is Eligible:  Organization or institution, as well as the purpose of the proposed project, must qualify under regulations of the United States Internal Revenue Service.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the W. K. Kellogg Foundation website
 

Intermediary Relending Program

Funding Source:  USDA - Rural Development
Grant Description:  To finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas.  Intermediaries re-lend funds to ultimate recipients for business facilities or community development.
Who is Eligible:  Intermediaries may be private non-profit corporations, public agencies, Indian groups, or cooperatives.  Ultimate recipients may be private or public organizations or individuals.  Both intermediaries and ultimate recipients must be unable to obtain the proposed loan elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms.
Grant Value:  Max Intermediary $750,000; Ultimate Recipient $250,000
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Rural Development website
Comments:  Applications must be made through your state Rural Development Office.  For a list of offices, please click here.


Micro-Loans

Funding Source:  US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Grant Description:  Provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns.
Who is Eligible:  Funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers.
Grant Value:  Max $35,000
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Small Business Administration (SBA) website
 

Operating Loans

Funding Source:  Farm Credit Services of Mid America
Grant Description:  Funding to purchase day-to-day farming operation needs including crops, labor, family living expenses, or livestock purchases.
Who is Eligible:  Must be a farm producer, own agricultural land, or be engaged in the production of agricultural products and must be located in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky (except Jackson Purchase area), or Ohio (except Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Crawford, Wyandot and Marion counties).
Grant Value:  Based on credit need and approval.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Farm Credit Services of Mid America website
www.e-farmcredit.com/FarmLoans/OperatingLoans/tabid/135/Default.aspx


Professional Development Grant Program

Funding Source:  USDA North Central Region (NCR) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Grant Description:  Supports state professional development programs and competitive grants that train agriculture educators.
Who is Eligible:  Land grant extension services, non-profit organizations and other organizations that train educators in sustainable agriculture are eligible to apply.
Grant Value:  Max $70,000
Deadline:  March - Call for Pre-Proposals; Mid-May - Pre-Proposals Due; End of June - Authors Notified of Pre-Proposal Status; End of August- Full Proposals Due; November - Funding Decisions Made.
 

Promotional Funding

Funding Source:  Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Grant Description:  Requests may be made for funding for the promotion of a sustainable agricultural and food system that works with farmers and consumers on issues involving sustainable agriculture and community food security; and counter the actions of public and private sector institutions and corporations that further the concentration of food production and the industrialization of agriculture.
Who is Eligible:  Only tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply. No requests will be accepted for endowments, capital construction, general fundraising, deficit financing, scholarships, fellowships, loans or grants to individuals, research, conferences, seminars, media events, workshops, college or university-based programs, television, or media programming development.
Grant Value:  There are no amount guidelines and pre-proposals are accepted year round.  2009 projects averaged $25,000.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation website
 

Research and Education Grants

Funding Source:  USDA North Central Region (NCR) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program
Grant Description:  Competitive grants to researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and fiber systems.
Who is Eligible:  Collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through in-depth research projects or education/demonstration projects.
Grant Value:  Max $175,000
Deadline:  April - Call for Pre-Proposals; June - Pre-Proposals Due; Early Fall - Authors Notified on Status of Pre-Proposal; Late Fall - Full Proposals Due; March - Funding Decisions Made by NCR-SARE.
 

Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program

Funding Source:  USDA - Rural Development
Grant Description:  To finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private business enterprises located in rural areas.  The public bodies, private nonprofit corporations and federally recognized Indian tribes receive the grant to assist a business.  GRANT FUNDS DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO THE BUSINESS.
Who is Eligible:  Public bodies (including incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, townships, counties, states, authorities, districts), private nonprofit corporations, and Indian Tribes on Federal and State reservations.  The small and emerging businesses to be assisted must have less than 50 new employees and less than $1 million in gross annual revenues.
Grant Value:  Generally, requests for less than $100,000 qualify.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Rural Development website
Comments:  Applications can be obtained and made through your state Rural Development Office.  For a list of offices, please go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/oh/


Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) Program

Funding Source:  USDA - Rural Development
Grant Description:  To promote sustainable economic development in rural communities by making grants to pay costs of providing economic planning for rural communities, technical assistance for rural businesses, or training for rural entrepreneurs or economic development officials.
Who is Eligible:  Public bodies (including incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, townships, counties, states, authorities, districts), nonprofit corporations, Indian tribes, or cooperatives with members that are primarily rural residents.
Grant Value:  Max of $1.5 million.  The size of grants approved is limited by the amount of program funds available - most are $50,000 or less.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Rural Development website
Comments:  Applications can be obtained and made through your state Rural Development Office.  For a list of offices, please click here.


Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG)

Funding Source:  USDA - Rural Development
Grant Description:  Provides grant funds to electric and telephone utilities financed by the Utilities Programs, to promote sustainable rural economic development and job creation projects through the operation of a revolving loan fund program.
Who is Eligible:  To receive funding under the REDLG Program (which will be forwarded to selected eligible projects) an entity must have borrowed, repaid or prepaid an insured, direct or guaranteed loan received under the Rural Electrification Act; or be a non-profit utility eligible for assistance from the Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication program; be a current Rural Development Electric or Telecommunications Program borrower.
Grant Value:  Max $740,000 / loan; Max $300,000 / grant
Deadline:  Quarterly in September, December, March, and June
For more details:  View the USDA - Rural Development website
 Comments:  Access website or contact your state Rural Development Office.  For a list of offices, please click here.


Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

Funding Source:  USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Grant Description:  Guarantees loans to approved socially disadvantaged applicants to buy and operate family-size farms and ranches.
Who is Eligible:  A socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmer, rancher, or agricultural producer including women, African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Grant Value:  Direct Farm Ownership and Operating Loan amounts apply.
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA) website
 Comments:  Access website or contact your local FSA office.


Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)


Funding Source:  USDA
Grant Description:  Grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy.
Who is Eligible:  Independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.
Grant Value:  $100,000 for planning and $300,000 for working capital

Deadline:  November 

Comments:  Access website or contact your state VAPG contact.


Young, Beginning and Small Farmer Financing Programs

Funding Source:  AgCredit
Grant Description:  Provide a means to offer constructive financing and services to young, beginning, and small farmers for on-going needs.
Who is Eligible:  35 or younger, or have less than 10 years farming experience, or normally generate less than $250,000 in annual gross sales of agricultural products.
Grant Value:  Based on credit need and approval.
Deadline:  N/A
 Comments:  Access website or contact your local AgCredit office.


Youth Loans

Funding Source:  USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Grant Description:  FSA makes loans to individual rural youths to establish and operate income-producing projects of modest size in connection with their participation in 4-H clubs, FFA, and similar organizations.
Who is Eligible:  Citizen of the United States between 10 and 20 years old; live in a town of less than 10,000 people; be unable to obtain a loan from other sources; and conduct a modest income-producing project in a supervised program of work.
Grant Value:  Max $5,000
Deadline:  N/A
For more details:  View the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA) website
 Comments:  Access website or contact your local FSA office.