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Deadline for EFAO’s Northern Farm Start-Up Grant Program approaching

January 13, 2022  By Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario

EFAO’s Northern Farm Start-Up Grant Program is available for farmers interested in kick-starting their business in northern Ontario.

The program supports new and beginning farmers who want to start an ecological farm business. These grants are designed to help new farmers build resilient, ecological farms by providing both mentorship and financial support.

To be eligible, applicants must be currently farming (or planning to start farming in 2022) in northern Ontario, which is limited to select areas such as:

  • Muskoka District Municipality
  • Nipissing District
  • Parry Sound District
  • Manitoulin District
  • Sudbury District
  • Greater Sudbury Census Division
  • Timiskaming District
  • Cochrane District
  • Algoma District
  • Thunder Bay District
  • Rainy River District
  • Kenora District

Additionally, applicants must have owned and operated a farm business for under 3 years, or plan to own and operate a farm business in 2022.

Other requirements include:

Have completed EFAO’s Online Farm Planning Course and written a farm plan OR have already completed a farm plan for their farm business that includes: a description of your farm business, a description of your products and services, a marketing and sales plan for 2022 and a budget and cashflow projection.

The process also requires two consultation meetings (online via Zoom or by phone) with a Farm Advisor, who will help strengthen the applicant’s grant application. Each meeting will last approximately one-hour and Farm Advisors will be available to discuss the applicant’s farm plans, proposed grant budget and answer production and business-related questions.

High tunnels and greenhouse structures are also eligible.

The Initial Inquiry form is due Friday January 14th, 2022 to determine if your proposed project is in alignment with EFAO’s Northern Farm Start-up Grant funding priorities.

EFAO staff will be in touch to invite suitable candidates to submit a full Grant Application. Deadline for submitting a full Grant Application is Friday February 18th, 2022.

Key dates include:

  • January 14th – Initial Inquiry Form Deadline
  • February 18th – Grant Application Deadline (by invitation only)
  • March 11th – Grant Applicants are notified about whether or not their application has been approved
  • September 1st – Deadline to purchase equipment
  • October 1st – Deadline to submit program questionnaire

If successful, applicants will receive funding for 50% of the cost of equipment needed to start their farm business, between $2,500 to $10,000 per farm.

For example, if total equipment costs are $5,000, EFAO will pay for 50% ($2,500) of those costs and the grant recipient would pay the other 50% ($2,500).

Applicants can apply for funding to cover multiple pieces of equipment, but the total combined cost must be between $5,000 and $20,000, which will be reimbursed at 50%.

To apply, please click here.

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