Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs


Welcome to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs!  This guide does as its title suggests: it walks you through dozens of the federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and how they can be used by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.

How to Use This Guide

This guide is organized into nine chapters, along with a quick-reference overview chart, glossary, and other resources – all accessible on the left sidebar of this page: Quick Reference Chart, Preface, Beginning & Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Conservation & Environment, Credit & Crop Insurance, Food Safety, Local & Regional Food Systems, Organic Production, Renewable Energy, Rural Development, Sustainable & Organic Research, Glossary and Acronyms, Additional Resources.

For Farmers and Ranchers

This guide contains dozens of programs and policies designed to help you succeed! From loans to help you make a down payment on land to financial incentives to help you farm more sustainably, there’s lots here for you.  Every program within each chapter follows the same format: program basics, eligibility information, success stories, how to apply, program resources, and program history.  The Quick Reference Chart also includes a column noting which programs are available for farmers, ranchers, and landowners and which are available for nonprofits or other intermediary organizations.  Questions about programs or how to apply are best directed to the federal offices linked on each page’s “How to Apply” section.  Remember: NSAC does not administer any of these programs directly.

For Grassroots Organizations

This guide contains dozens of competitive grant programs intended to help grassroots organizations better serve communities and farmers!  Every program within each chapter follows the same format: program basics, eligibility information, success stories, how to apply, program resources, and program history.  The Quick Reference Chart also includes a column noting which programs are available for nonprofits and other intermediary organizations and which are available directly to farmers, ranchers, and landowners.  Questions about programs or how to apply are best directed to the federal offices linked on each page’s “How to Apply” section.  Remember: NSAC does not administer any of these programs directly.