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The Ontario government helps farmers and farm businesses produce the best possible food and agriculture products. Through various farm grants and government funding programs, the government supports innovation, sustainable farming, business development, managing risk, trade and market development.

Farm grants, farm loans and other funding options for Canadian farmers and agri-business owners are now available.

Farm Grants and Government Funding Programs

As a small business in the agriculture industry (or a farm owner), you could benefit from these programs/services offered by the Ontario government:

Advance Payments Program

This farm program can help producers with cash advances on the value of their agricultural products. It’s an excellent funding program for farmers and food producers, especially young farmers or those just starting out in the farming industry.

Agricultural Clean Technology Program

This funding program is for projects which are led by the provincial and territorial government for clean technology research, development, demonstration, commercialization and adoption projects in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sectors. This program offers up to $25 million in funding for applicants spanning over a 3 year period.

AgriInnovate Program

This program provides repayable contributions for projects that aim to accelerate the demonstration, commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability. This funding program is excellent for those for-profit organizations as well as co-operatives and indigenous communities.

Dairy Processing Investment Fund

Those business owners involved with dairy processing can receive up to $10 million to support investment equipment and infrastructure and up to $250,000 to access expertise. Cheese makers and other dairy processors can greatly benefit from this government funding program.

You can take a look at other farm grants and government funding programs for farmers right here.

Applying to Farm Grants and Farming Funding Programs

Just as with any business, when applying for farm grants to get funding for your farming business you have to think about the following:

  • Do you have a business plan for your farm business?
  • How much funding do you need for your farm?
  • What do you need the funding for?
  • Do you know which farming funding programs exist?

If you don’t have a business plan for your farm as of yet, it’s time to get one.

The Business Plan Builder Tool here at Ontario Startups can help. Be sure to take a look at how easy it is to get your farming business plan done.

As you develop your business plan you will have to answer certain questions about funding needs and such, this is the perfect way to understand what you will need in terms of farm grants or farm loans. Be sure to get that done and figured out first.

If you’re unsure of which farm grants or farming funding programs exist, the Funding Database has all of the available funding programs offered by the Canadian government for small business owners and farmers as well.

Availability of Farm Grants and Farm Loans

As a farm owner, obtaining funding from the government could mean the difference between success and failure.

It is important to take action and consider the availability of farm grants and farm loans as well tax breaks which farmers could benefit from.

Farming funding programs are available to existing farm owners as well as those just starting out in the industry.  Be sure to take full advantage of the programs which have been provided to you by both the Ontario provincial and federal programs.

While farm grants and farm loans may be available across Canada, certain geographical areas of the country have better program investment than others. For example: Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, B.C., New Brunswick and Nova Scotia farm owners have a greater chance of obtaining funding as long as the criteria and qualifications by the funding agencies are met.

Take a moment now and use the Assessment Tool to figure out your funding needs as a small business owner.

What Can Farm Funding Programs Be Used For

While each farm grant or farm loan program coming from a different funding agency has different rules and criteria as to what the funding can be used for, typically a funding program you apply to (you would apply with your funding needs already in mind – in your business plan).

A typical small business owner/farmer would benefit from these funding programs with the following needs:

  • Farm technology upgrade and improvement
  • Energy efficiency improvements on the farm
  • Projects too reduce environmental impact by the farm
  • Farm employee wage subsidies
  • Live stock purchase
  • Farm equipment purchase
  • Improving farm building or covering leasehold improvement costs
  • Research and development
  • Funds for purchase of new farm or farm land

What do to next?

If you are a farm owner and looking to obtain a farm grant or a farm loan or perhaps a tax break for your farming business, start with your business plan first.

Ensure your farm business plan is perfect – reach out to the Ontario Startups experts for assistance with this.

Once the plan is done, access the Funding Database available to Ontario Startups members and start applying to all programs available to your farm business.

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