Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs


Two farmers familiarized themselves with an application form. Photo credit: USDA.

Welcome to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs! This guide provides an in-depth look at dozens of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture, and details how they can be accessed by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.

How to Use This Guide

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

This guide contains dozens of programs and policies designed to help you succeed, and is NSAC’s more comprehensive free, online resource. Every program highlighted in the Guide follows the same format: program basics, eligibility information, success stories, how to apply, program resources, and program history.  Additionally, our Quick Reference Chart 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.  

Please note: NSAC does not administer any of these programs directly.