Betsy Dorton, Grants Administrator

Brittany Jeffcoat, Specialty Crop Block Grant Coordinator


The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) administers numerous federal grants and cooperative agreements internally through the initiatives of its various departments. Many inquiries are received by the SCDA Grants Administration office from individual farmers, growers, and producers looking for ways to fund their farm needs. Please keep in mind that government grants typically fund projects and research, not people or small businesses (including farms). Simply stated, State and Federal agricultural grants are not for individuals looking to begin, save, maintain or expand a farm business. Federal grants are paid for by taxpayers, so there are very strict eligibility, application, selection and reporting requirements. Generally, an entity must be an IRS-designated-non-profit 501(c)3, cooperative, commission, university, or unit of local government to qualify for a federal/state grant. People and/or private businesses very rarely qualify for these grants.

That said, this page includes some resources that may be helpful in your search for assistance. The information included here is not all-inclusive, but provides a starting point for agriculture-related grant/loan research. As you study the opportunities provided here, remember to pay close attention to eligibility guidelines before applying for a grant or loan.

If you are interested in Starting or Expanding a Farm, click here.

If you are a military veteran with an agricultural business, click Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund to learn more about grants of up to $5,000 to help start or manage a farm.

Funding Available from SCDA

The following reimbursement programs are available to individual farmers/growers/producers through sub-awards from projects of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Click on the name of the program to learn more.

Other Funding Opportunities

Funding Available from USDA

Agricultural Marketing Service

Executive Summary: The AMS branch of the USDA is establishing the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). The purpose of this program is to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency to support local, regional, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through the purchase of domestic local foods and distributing to under-served communities. In addition to increasing local food consumption, funds will help build and expand economic opportunity for local and socially disadvantaged producers. The expectation of this program is for agencies to spend the predominance of awarded funds on food purchases. No funds can be spent on agricultural production activities.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate that they are able to fulfill at least one of the following functions: produce, purchase, aggregate, store, transport, and/or distribute SC locally grown, raised, or caught agricultural products to be delivered to under-served communities in SC.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 20, 2022, through email to Applications received after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

Chris Doyle, Food Nutrition Coordinator


National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Food and Nutrition Service

Funding Available from Other Organizations

Remember, very few grants, whether by a private foundation or the federal government, provide funding directly to individuals. However, if you are representing a non-profit organization, the South Carolina State Library offers free assistance with searching for private foundational grants as well as for writing grant proposals. Visit SC State Library Grants Research Assistance to learn more.