DOAG: Farm Transition Grant Program

 
 
Farm Transition Grant
 
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.   
 
 
The next round of funding will be available in April 2017. 
Information for the 2016 program can be found below.
 
 
 
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 for the previous three years and have filed applicable tax forms for the agribusiness.
 
When is the next application deadline date? 
Applications will be accepted in April 2017.  The actual date will be announced in the 2017 guidance document expected to be released in January 2017. 
 
Does it do me any good to send in my grant application as early as possible?
Applications are only accepted during specified dates which can be found in the 2017 guidance document expected to be released in January 2017. 
 
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 submitted project plan.  Please review the guidelines and Appendix C: Required Format for Project Plan.
 
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.  
 
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 are 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 project plan per the format provided in the guidelines.
4.  Submit the completed forms and project plan via email by the deadline.
 
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 project plan.  Information is available above (see Appendix C) 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 develop 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. 
 
 
2016 Farm Transition Grant Information

Grant Guidelines and Forms (.pdf)

Appendix A: Application Cover Page (.doc)

Appendix B: Budget Application Form (.doc)

Appendix C: Required Format for Project Plan (.doc)

 
Please be aware: This is a reimbursement grant.  The entire project must be completed prior to being reimbursed/receiving grant funds.