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Key Programs for Individuals

Organized by applicant type and topic, this resource details several popular USDA services and programs geared toward individuals applying for benefits

check icon This icon indicates that a program or service may have additional benefits or incentives for communities that are defined as socially disadvantaged and/or underserved. Learn more about our terminology.

The catalog is not exhaustive and does not include all programs or services USDA offers.

Review important upcoming and ongoing national USDA program deadlines. Please note that this list does not include every deadline, and only includes federal deadlines.

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check icon Funding Opportunity Programs

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

check iconEZ Guarantee Loans: These loans use a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved family farmers and ranchers apply for loans from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations.

check iconFarm Operating Loans: Loans for normal operating expenses, machinery and equipment, minor real estate repairs or improvements, and debt refinancing.

check iconFarm Ownership Loans: Loans with 100% financing to purchase or enlarge family farms, improve, and expand current operations, increase agricultural productivity, and assist with land tenure.

Farm Microloans: Loans up to $50,000 to operate new, niche, and small to mid-sized family farm operations.

Youth Loans: Loans to individual young persons to start and operate income-producing projects of modest size in connection with their participation in agricultural youth organizations.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

check iconRegional Conservation Partnership Program: Funds projects where NRCS and partners co-invest in impactful and innovative solutions to on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns.

Rural Development (RD)

Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program: Offers loan guarantees to lenders for loans made to rural businesses.

Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants: Provides affordable financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers.

check iconMulti-Family Housing - Direct and Guaranteed Loans: Provides competitive financing for affordable multi-family rental housing for low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals and families in eligible rural areas.

check iconMulti-Family Housing Rental Assistance: Provides rental assistance to owners of properties with an existing Multi-Family Housing Direct or Farm Labor Housing loan. This assistance is property based and intended to help very-low and low-income tenants with rent and utilities.

check icon Single Family Housing - Direct and Guaranteed Loans: Helps low- and very-low-income applicants buy decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase applicants' repayment ability.

Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants (Section 504 Home Repair Program): Provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes, or provides grants to elderly, very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

Conservation and Climate Change Programs

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Farmers enrolled in this program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from production and plant species to control soil erosion, improve water quality, and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.

check iconConservation Loan Program: Provides loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches to help protect natural resources throughout the U.S.

check iconEmergency Conservation Program: Funding to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and carry out emergency water conservation measures during severe drought.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Agricultural Management Assistance Program: Provides financial assistance to providers in 16 states to construct or improve water management structures or irrigation structures; plant trees for windbreaks or to improve water quality; and mitigate risk through production diversification or resource conservation practices, including soil erosion control, integrated pest management, or transition to organic farming.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): Payments made to agricultural and forest producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation.

check iconEnvironmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Financial assistance that covers part of the cost of putting conservation practices into place that address resource concerns and improve agricultural operations.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program: Funds projects where NRCS and partners co-invest in impactful and innovative solutions to on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns.

Food Access and Education Programs

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Commodity Supplemental Food Program: Works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods.

Infrastructure and Utilities Programs

Rural Development (RD)

Housing Preservation and Revitalization Demonstration Loans and Grants: Restructures loans for existing Rural Rental Housing and Off-Farm Labor Housing projects to help improve and preserve the availability of safe affordable rental housing for low-income residents.

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans and Grants: Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.

Land Access and Education Programs

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

check iconLand Contract (LC) Guarantee Program: Provides FSA guarantees to the owner of a farm who wishes to sell real estate through a land contract to a beginning farmer/rancher or a farmer/rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

Market Opportunities and Supply Chain Programs

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Grass Fed Small and Very Small Producer Program: Small-scale cattle and sheep producers certified under this program receive a certificate that allows them to market cattle and sheep as USDA Certified grass-fed.

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Export Credit Guarantee Program: Provides credit guarantees to encourage financing of commercial exports of U.S. agricultural products, largely to developing countries.

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Transitional Organic Grower Assistance Program (TOGA): Discounted crop insurance premium bills for certified organic crop or crops in transition to certified organic.

check iconReimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Payment Program (RTCP): Reimburses producers for part of the cost to transport agricultural commodities or inputs used to produce an agricultural commodity.

check iconOrganic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP): Provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP)

Risk and Disaster Management Programs

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

check iconEmergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP): Provides relief payments to producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish to cover losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events, or loss conditions as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP): Offers payments to livestock producers to help with grazing losses caused by a qualifying drought. LFP also provides payments to livestock producers on rangeland managed by a federal agency if the agency halts grazing on the land due to a qualifying fire.

Livestock Indemnity Program: This program provides payments for higher-than-normal livestock deaths caused by adverse weather or by attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government.

Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC): The Dairy Margin Coverage program is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

check iconTree Assistance Program (TAP): Provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters.

Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL): Provide low-interest financing for producers to build or upgrade facilities to store commodities they produce.

Emergency Loan Program: Provides emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.

check iconNoninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP): Pays covered producers of non-insurable crops to protect against lower yields, crop losses, or prevented planting due to natural disaster(s).

check iconAgricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC): The ARC and PLC Program provides financial protections from substantial drops in commodity prices or revenues.

Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Federal Crop Insurance Program: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) provides crop insurance to America’s farmers and ranchers to protect them against adverse weather events, natural disasters, or falling prices.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP): Provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy and is available in all counties nationwide.

Technical Assistance and Training Programs

Coming soon!

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Page last updated: July 19, 2023