The Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Young Farmer Grant application is open now through October 11, 2023. This grant opens two times per year and is an excellent opportunity for Texas farmers between 18 and 45 years young. There are very few *true* grant opportunities for for-profit farmers in Texas, and this one allows you to fund operational supplies, livestock, seeds/plants, labor, contract work, equipment (TDA will cover up to $5k), and more. The minimum request is $5k and maximum is $20k.
I’ve worked on several of these applications with farmers the past few years. Here are a few things to consider if you want to apply:
- Funders love projects with specific goals, tasks, and timelines. And in this case, TDA wants to see that you have a specific project that will increase your farm’s production in terms of acreage planted, number of animals, yield, etc.
- This grant is best for farmers with some sales and/or production history. It’s not required! But since TDA wants to fund commercial and not hobby farms, having a Schedule F (or other agricultural income tax form) or other production history documents will be a benefit to your application during review.
- It is a 1:1 matching grant. In other words, if you request $10k from TDA, you have to “match” that with your own $10k. There is some flexibility around how you can provide match – it’s project dependent and we’re happy to chat with you more about it. While match can feel discouraging, the thing to keep in mind is… if you know you’re going to spend, for example, $10k on a specific project this year on your farm… why not apply to the grant and try to get 50% of that covered?
- The grant is reimbursement based. You will have to cover costs of the project up front and then submit receipts to get funding. TDA knows things won’t always line up exactly to the penny if you’re awarded; it’s most about being in communication and getting approval for major changes!
To learn more, visit TDA’s webpage and read the Request for Grant Application. You can also watch a recorded presentation below about the grant by TDA’s Kat Neilson, who partnered with the Central Texas Young Farmers Coalition to host a virtual info session last year.
If you’d like to talk to someone at TCLF about applying and getting assistance with your application, then please submit an intake form with us!