Nov 01 2012

Grants Available for Kentucky Organic Farmers

Published by at 3:27 pm under Aquaculture,Grants,New Farmers,News

Kentucky State University’s College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems has grants available for small scale farmers who are motivated to improve their farming operations or improve the marketability of their products.

The grants supports three priority areas:

  1. Certified organic farming and marketing. (This includes certified organic farmers and those officially transitioning to organic status with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.)
  2. Value-added enterprise development.
  3. Aquaculture farming and marketing.

What can I use the money for?

Aquatic farmers and certified organic farmers can use the funds for equipment and operating expenses to produce and market their products. Farmers formally seeking organic certification with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture also qualify. Any small scale farmer looking to improve the marketability of their agricultural products by some value-added process may qualify for funds. Funds cannot be used to purchase motorized vehicles or motorized equipment. You cannot pay yourself or your family for labor. Contract labor is allowable. If approved, the grant will cover up to 100% of eligible expenses outlined in the application budget; but no more than $5,000 per year for individuals and no more than $15,000 per year for organizations.

When can I apply for a grant?

The CSFF Grant Review Committee will evaluate all grants received by the following dates:

  • December 1, 2012
  • February 1, 2013
  • April 1, 2013
  • June 1, 2013
  • August 1, 2013
  • October 1, 2013
  • December 1, 2013
  • February 1, 2014
  • April1, 2014
  • June 1, 2014
  • August 1, 2014

How much time do I get to finish my project?

You will have up to one (1) year to complete the project and fulfill all reporting requirements. Projects approved in 2014 will have less than one (1)year, as ALL projects must be finalized and reports submitted to CSFF by December 31, 2014.

Who is eligible for a CSFF grant?

Anyone meeting the following criteria is eligible to apply:

  • A Kentucky farm that produces agricultural products for sale to the public and had gross agricultural sales greater than $1,000 and below $250,000 in 2011. This is a self-declaration, but the contract will have language stating it must be verifiable.
  • A formal, non-governmental association including for-profit and not-for-profit corporations and cooperatives that serve Kentucky farms.

Special considerations will be made for limited resource farmers (household income of less than $23,000/year), small acreage producers, female farmers, minority farmers, and the 53 “Appalachian” counties. Grantees must comply with all health, food safety and other federal, state and local laws. KSU employees and their immediate family members are not eligible.

How long does it take to get a grant?

The CSFF Grant Review Committee will consider all applications received by the above dates and vote to recommend funding, deny funding, or seek further clarification. All recommended grants will be submitted to the Dean of the College for final approval. If your application is denied or the committee requires further clarification you will be notified by letter, and a site visit may be necessary to verify your capacity to administer the grant. If your application is approved, you will receive a letter and contract in the mail. Final authorization is typically determined within a few weeks after you return the signed and notarized documents. Once final authorization is given, checks can be issued to begin the project.

What are my obligations in the contract?

KSU will create a contract that you must sign before the project is authorized for funding. The contract obligates you to use the funds as requested, provide data related to your project, and submit a final report outlining the impact of the project. The terms and conditions will be specific to your project. Failure to fulfill reporting requirements, including submittal of receipts, will be considered a breach of contract and funds must be returned to CSFF.

Why do you need pictures of my farm or business?

Photos and videos are a great way to document the success of a project. We will use them to help you with issues that arise and in our reporting to the Agricultural Development Board that funded this program.
Why does the state need my company’s taxpayer ID or my individual Social Security number? If you don’t include the Taxpayer ID or Social Security number, you can’t get a grant. Grants over $600 are considered income and must be reported as such.

How do you define ‘organic’?

Those who apply for organic grants through the CSFF must understand and comply with federal laws regulating organic products. ‘Organic’ is a labeling term that indicates the food or other agricultural product has been produced through methods approved by the USDA’s National Organic Program. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.

Applications will be considered from organic farms that are currently certified by a USDA accredited agency (i.e., the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Organic Program); as well as farms that are registered with an accredited agency as transitional or exempt (i.e., all organic sales are through direct market channels and total less than $5,000 per year). Materials and methods used in organic projects must be suitable for use on certified organic farms.

How do I get an application?

Download applications here, or request a paper application from:

Mr. Mac Stone
Center for Sustainability of Farms and Families
400 East Main Street
Cooperative Extension Building
Frankfort, KY 40601


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