DOAG: Farm Transition Grant Program

Farm Transition Grant

The next application deadline will be in March 2016. 

Grant application guidelines and forms will be posted by December 31, 2015. 

The Farm Transition Grant Program (FTG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26j) is a competitive matching grant program. The purpose of the program is to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives.  Producers and agriculture cooperatives applying for this grant may be awarded up to $49,999 in matching funds.   
Please be aware: this is a reimbursement grant.  The entire project must be completed prior to being reimbursed/receiving grant funds. 
Farm Transition Grant Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the Farm Transition Grant (FTG)
Connecticut farmers and farmer cooperatives are eligible.  
Can a beginning farmer apply for the FTG? 
Applicants need to be in production, filing a Schedule F, Form 1120S, or Schedule C for the previous three years.
When is the next application deadline date? 
The next application deadline will be in March 2016.   The application guidelines and forms will be posted online by December 31, 2015.
Does it do me any good to send in my grant application as early as possible?
Applications can be submitted as early as three days in advance. 
What is maximum amount an applicant could be awarded?
Up to $49,999.
Is there an applicant match involved? 
Yes, a 50% cash match, or a 1:1 match, must be provide by the applicant. This means if your  total project has a cost of $20,000 the applicant must provide at least $10,000 and a maximum of $10,000 could be awarded by the FTG.
If I apply by the deadline does it mean I'll be funded?
No.  This is a very competitive grant program.  Applications are evaluated by a team of reviewers and is primarily based on the business/project plan.  More information on the evaluation criteria can be found in the application guidelines.        
How is the grant money paid to someone who's been awarded? 
Grant funds are paid after the project is successfully completed, a final financial report outlining all expenses associated with the project have been received and approved, a final report has been received and approved, and site inspection by agency staff is conducted.  For any building a certificate of occupancy must be obtained as well. 
What projects can the FTG grant money be used for?
Projects which allow a farm to expand, diversify, and improve the existing operation are allowable.  More specific priority areas will be outlined in the application guidelines.
Can I purchase equipment with the grant?
While it can vary, general purpose equipment - tractors, trucks, boats, etc. - are not allowable purchases.  However, if it can be justified that the requested piece of equipment will allow the business to expand, diversify, and improve, it may be considered. Equipment is an allowable match expense. 
Can I pay employees salaries with the grant?
No, grant funds cannot go toward the salaries of those already employed by the business to execute the project.  Consultant expenses (electricians, hired contractors, etc.) are allowable expenses.  Salaries are an allowable match expense. 
Can I apply for grant funds for a project I've already done?
No, you cannot have started any aspect of the project for which you're applying.
How long do I have to complete the project? 
You will have one year from the time the contract is signed by the Attorney Generals office.

How do I apply for this grant? 
1.  Review the grant application guidelines
2.  Fill out the application cover page and budget forms in detail per the guidelines
3.  Develop your business/project plan per the information provided in the guidelines
4.  Submit the completed forms and business/project plan by email
Can I submit my application by mailing it to the Department of Agriculture?
No, applications are only accepted by email. 
Can I view the application of a successful/awarded project?
No, we cannot share or distribute applications from projects that were awarded.  Applications, which are primarily based on a business/project plan, are considered proprietary information and must remain confidential. 
Can someone from the Department of Agriculture help me write my business/project plan and complete the application?
No, agency staff cannot be involved in the development of a business/project plan.  Information is available above to help develop a successful application.  The Connecticut Small Business Development Center, UConn Cooperative Extension, and Farm Credit East have varying resources to help you submit an application.   
What's the timeframe for the grant application and decision period?

It'll be approximately six weeks from the application deadline to when you're notified of the award outcome.  The number of applications received affects this timeline significantly.  Once notified of being awarded, it will be approx. 3-4 weeks before you receive your contract for signature.  Once you send your signed contract back, it's another 4 weeks before the contract signing is complete and you can officially begin your project.  This timeline can vary.


Can I start the project as soon as I know that I've been awarded?
No, you may not start the project until signatures of the grantee, Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Attorney Generals office have signed the contract. 
If I've already received this grant in the past can I apply again?
Yes.  However, past performance will be taken into consideration.