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:farm Grants Fall/ Winter 2013/2014

By Expert Author: John Alterno

Farm funding is available to Canadian Farmers in the form of government farm grants, government farm loans and other funding programs for farmers and agricultural businesses.

A main component of farm funding in Canada is the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) funding program of Grants and Loans. Project Implementation for Producers funding provides Canadian small business grants designed to help farmers and farm-based businesses implement the projects that they identify during Capacity Building Project(s). Funding can be provided to identify and respond to issues and risks.

Growing Forward 2 Canadian government funding provided through the Project Implementation Stream is provided as small business grants in Canada. The Growing Forward 2 Canada Project Implementation Stream will fund up to 50% of project costs for innovative on farm projects and 35% otherwise.

There are two ways that a farm business can qualify for these Growing Forward 2 Canadian government grants for small business:

1.) You are eligible as an established Producer in Canada with a Premises Identification Number and a Farm Business Registration Number that filed income taxes in the previous year as a farm/business.

2.) New Canadian producers who filed income taxes as an individual, and have not filed income taxes as a farm for the last two years, and have a Premises Identification number are eligible if they can demonstrate the likelihood of a minimum income of 30,000$cad over the next 3 years.

There are 6 focus areas for Growing Forward 2 Farmgrants funding*:

• Environment and Climate Change
• Assurance Systems
• Market Development
• Animal and Plant Health
• Labour Productivity Enhancement
• Business and Leadership Development

*Each focus area has individual criteria for projects and applications.


Environment and Climate Change
With this focus area, some of the funding is directed towards particular animals: hogs, cattle, bison, sheep, goats and poultry. The following types of projects will be considered for farm funding:

• Nutrient Management
• Soil Protection
• Water Protection
• Wildlife

Assurance Systems

With this focus area, some of the funding is directed towards particular animals: hogs, cattle, bison, sheep, goats and poultry. Projects that focus on one of the following areas are eligible for GF2 Canadian government funding:

• Animal Welfare
• Food Safety
• Food Traceability

Market Development

Projects in this focus area must be about the expansion and growth of farm businesses through one of the following, in response to a risk identified in the assessment stage:

• Adoption and use of business tools
• Market, customer and competitor analysis
• Marketing resources

Animal and Plant Health

In order to qualify for GF2 business grants in Ontario the projects in this focus area must deal with at least one of:

• Prevention of animal and plant diseases
• Control of the spread of animal and plant diseases
• Prevention and control of pests
•
Labour Productivity Enhancement

Projects under this focus area must be dealing with an identified risk or issue and taking appropriate initiative to:

• Improve/provide training opportunities for HQP
• Implementation of new technologies
• Improvements to facility/site

Business and Leadership Development

In order to qualify for GF2 Ontario small business grants projects must focus on improvements related to:

• Production efficiency including benchmarking
• Financial Management including the adoption of record keeping that indicates performance and progress
• Social Responsibility including measures that improve the productivity and efficiency of the farm and stewardship
• Human Resources improvements including new training opportunities for employees beyond required skills

Project expenses that are eligible for reimbursement include the incremental costs of renting facilities, equipment, machinery, contractor salaries and travel associated directly with the project. Capital expenses are also eligible including equipment and construction costs. However, for capital expenses, the applicant must contribute a minimum of 25% of the cost as cash. The total amount of capital expenses cannot exceed $100,000.

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