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Farm Vitality Planning Grant

The Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program will help fund professional services for those planning for the future of a farm. The program will enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania's farms through sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and building a team of financial and technical expertise as a resource for Pennsylvania's farmers.

Guidelines & Uses

Grants may be used for expenses related to the following projects:

  • Creating or obtaining business plans or management strategies to enhance the long-term economic viability of a farm.
  • Creating or obtaining plans for the transition of ownership and operation of a farm to new owners and operators.
  • Creating or obtaining plans for transfer of ownership and operation of a farm within the farmer's family.
  • Creating or obtaining business plans to diversify an existing agricultural operation to new or different forms of agricultural production.
  • Creating or obtaining business plans for a farm expansion or to seek financing for farm growth.
  • Creating or obtaining plans to maintain the long-term economic viability and protect the investment of public funds in preserving farms that are subject to perpetual agricultural conservation easements acquired under the Agricultural Area Security Law, for agricultural production.

Funding Opportunities

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs.

  • This is a reimbursement grant.
  • The amount of reimbursement is based eligible costs submitted by an approved applicant for an approved project during the fiscal year in which the grant is offered.
  • Grants will be awarded on a funds-available basis.
  • In-kind support will not be counted toward an applicant's matching contribution.

The Department of Agriculture will provide up to $1,000,000 for program grants in the 2020 – 2021 Fiscal Year.

  • Expenses incurred for the completion of the project since July 1, 2020 and up to two years after the effective date of the grant agreement are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Expenses incurred since July 1, 2020 but prior to signing a grant agreement must be described in the work plan when applying in order to request reimbursement for those expenses.
  • Grant money may not be used to reimburse any portion of the project costs which are being paid or reimbursed under another federal or state grant program.

Eligible & Ineligible Costs

Eligible Costs

Ag professionals assisting with business, transition and/or succession plan development and related documents they create.

  • Accountant, CPA, Business Consultant, Financial Planner
    • Profitability and feasibility Studies
    • Financial guidance
    • Financial Statements
      • Income Statement
      • Cash Flow
      • Balance Sheet
    • Business planning services
    • Business software suggested by professionals (i.e. QuickBooks)
  • Appraiser
    • Appraisal directly related to succession
  • Attorney
    • Preparation and filing of legal documents
    • Setting up new entity with next generation
  • Facilitator
    • Facilitate farm succession meetings and communication
  • Mediator
    • Assists farm families with a succession conflict

Ineligible Costs

  • Capital improvements including:
    • Purchase of land or farm
    • Facilities
    • Equipment
    • Buildings
    • Remodels
    • Repairs and maintenance
    • Installation of conservation practices
  • Conservation Plans, Ag E&S Plans, Manure Management Plans, Nutrient Management Plans
  • Surveying and subdivision costs even if related to succession
  • Any taxes even if related to property transfer
  • Insurance premiums and related costs
  • Meals, mileage or other travel expenses

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through the Single Application for Assistance online application system starting April 19, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. and will be received until available funding is exhausted.

Applications received after funding is exhausted, will not be considered.

Applications received outside of that window, or after funding is exhausted, will not be considered.

The Department will review completed grant applications in the order received and will award grants on a first-come, first-served basis for complete applications for eligible projects until funds are no longer available.


Contact

Morgan Sheffield

717-787-3568

msheffield@pa.gov