Beginning with Compeer
Grants for Beginning Farmers
We’ve been helping farmers just like you for over a century. As part of the Farm Credit System, it’s our duty to make sure we’re doing all we can to help sustain farming as a way of life in the communities we serve. Helping beginning farmers is a vital part of doing just that.
As part of Compeer Financial’s commitment to young, beginning farmers, we are proud to offer the Beginning with Compeer Financial Grant Program. This program is available to farmers who:
- Reside in Compeer Financial’s 144-county territory
- Have started farming no longer than 10 years ago
- Demonstrate that farming is the applicant’s part-time or full-time vocation
The Beginning with Compeer Financial Grant Program funding levels are as follows:
- Beginning farmers who are Compeer Financial loan clients with a total principal balance of $50,000 or more can receive up to $1,500 in grant funding.
- Beginning farmers who use Compeer Financial’s tax, accounting, or other related services, or have a principal balance of less than $50,000 on loans with us, or are “next generation” farmers who represent the next generation of a farm operation that has a lending relationship with us (for example, the daughter of a family that has loans with Compeer Financial) can receive up to $500 in grant funding.
- Beginning farmers who do not yet have a business relationship with Compeer Financial can receive up to $250 in grant funding.
- A beginning farmer whose only business relationship with Compeer Financial is the purchase of crop insurance can receive up to $250 in grant funding.
Grant and tuition assistance funding awarded through legacy programs of Compeer Financial will be included in this program’s total funding award.
Grant funds can be used to pay for a variety of farm business-related expenses, including:
- Tax preparation or farm accounting services when using a Compeer Financial professional for the first time. In areas where Compeer Financial does not offer tax and accounting services, grant funds can be used to hire outside professionals for the first time using a financial professional.
- Purchase of farm accounting software.
- Tuition for courses in farm business management, accounting or related topics.
- Registration fees for farm-related conferences or workshops.
- Fees for development of a new value-added agricultural product at a licensed food processing establishment.
- FSA guarantee fees.
- Attorney fees related to farm transition services, creation of an LLC or other business development services.
- Other expenses not listed above may be considered for reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.
Grant funds cannot be used to pay farm operating expenses or for purchase of equipment, including computer equipment.
- A beginning farmer who enrolls in a multi-year farm training program offered through the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association, the Wisconsin Technical College System, or the Minnesota Farm Business Management Education Program may be awarded an additional $500 grant to support their enrollment. In this situation, the maximum grant award is $2,000 per individual recipient.
- A non-client farmer who has received a $250 grant and later becomes a Compeer Financial client by taking a loan or accessing other services can apply for a second grant. No more than $1,750 in grant funds can be awarded to any individual recipient that is not part of a multi-year farm training program.
- Except as noted above, a maximum of $1,500 will be awarded per farm household. The maximum grant award per farm operation is $5,000.
- Grant applications submitted by Compeer Financial team members or their immediate family members must be forwarded to the company’s chief ethics officer for an opinion prior to making a funding decision.
To Apply: Download the application here. Application can be mailed or emailed to:
Attn: Melanie Olson
21088 Keswick Loop, PO Box 1219
Lakeville, MN 55044
Funding: If approved, you will be asked to submit copies of receipts showing that grant-eligible expenses have been paid. We also need a completed W-9 form, which verifies your taxpayer identification number.
Grant funds will need to be redeemed within 12 months of approval. Grant funds remaining unused after 12 months will not be disbursed.
Questions? Contact Melanie Olson. Email [email protected] or call 952-997-1255.