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Grants & Loans

As SPI-AMP wraps up and we welcome our new Grant Director, we are pausing direct technical assistance on grant and loan applications to producers outside of our mentorship program. We have compiled general information about grants and loans below, including a shareable Quick Reference Guide for common programs.

Please feel free to reach out to with any questions.

Grant & Loan Quick Reference Guide

Below you'll find a quick reference guide on grant and loan opportunities for Texas small producers. The reference guide is by no means comprehensive (there are a lot more FSA programs), but includes programs we commonly hear about in our network. The guide was created by Katie Tritsch.

Grants & Loans 101


Awarded after a successful application process and do not need to be paid back, which makes them very attractive (and competitive). Some grants require matching funds or cost-sharing, meaning you must contribute a certain dollar amount or percentage to the project to secure your grant funding. Most grants are set up on a reimbursement basis – once awarded, you submit your receipts/proof of purchase to the funder and they reimburse you those costs based on your budget and grant amount. Generally, grants are best suited to cover operating expenses as opposed to land or capital purchases. All grants will require some form of reporting.


Require you to pay back the money lent to you, plus interest, over a specified amount of time. Loans are important for any small business that needs capital to start up or expand, including farms and ranches. Loans can help you cover many types of expenses – land, farm equipment, operating expenses (e.g., seed, feed, labor costs), capital improvements, and more. FSA loans were created to serve farmers and ranchers who cannot secure funding elsewhere, and they have special rates for farmers of color, women farmers, and beginning farmers. Farm Credit System banks also have set asides for small, young, and beginning farmers and ranchers who need access to capital.

If you're applying to FSA or NRCS...

Before you apply to any FSA or NRCS financial assistance program, you must register your farm and get a farm number – it is free! You can do this by setting up an appointment with your local USDA Service Center. Bring two forms of ID, your farm business EIN, and documents that demonstrate your land ownership or lease agreement.