Friday, January 24, 2014

Grants Advising in the Midwest

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is providing free Grants Advising services with priority to two target groups in the Midwest.
  • In Wisconsin: All producers and agriculture-related businesses, as well as those working with agricultural businesses.  Agriculture is broadly defined to also include forestry and fisheries.  Businesses can be new or existing. 
  • In the Midwest: Beginning farmers, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as well as young organizations working with these farmers.

While our services are open to all farmers and rural entrepreneurs, priority is given as follows?
What is Grants Advising?
MFAI’s Grants Advisor can help you apply to grant, loan, and cost-share programs of state or federal sources that could help you with specific projects to develop your agricultural, forestry or related business.  These can be programs of any federal or state agency, not just the USDA, as well as private sources.  We assist individual producers, associations of farmers, and agricultural, fishery and forestry-related businesses to both search for and apply to programs for which they are eligible. 

More Detail
Our Grants Advisor helps you decide if a grant would be appropriate to achieve your goals.  If so, she will help you identify a grant program that best fits your goals and help you outline a plan of work to meet the application deadline and all application requirements.  If not, she will suggest other resources you may choose to approach. Examples might be federal, state or local loan programs, loan guarantees, as well as resource information and resource persons. 

Anyone can ask to be on the Advisor’s email list to get funding program announcements ASAP. 

The Advisor will help you identify local partners (agency staff, nonprofit organizations, or local volunteers with experience in grants and project management) to strengthen your project, to help you complete the proposal, and, if funding is awarded, to manage the project.

Even for deadlines later this year, it is best to start working now with the Grants Advisor on a specific application.  Get your plan of work organized early so that deadlines don’t sneak up on you.  

For more information and to be on the e-list for funding program announcements, please contact MFAI’s Grants Advisor, Deirdre Birmingham, at or (608) 219-4279.  Also visit for more information.

*Grants Advising is funded in part by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant and by Farm Aid.

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