Criteria for eligibilityGrant project examplesApplication instructions
Thank you for your interest in applying for a Fund-a-Farmer grant! In this third year of the project, FACT will provide small grants to qualifying livestock and poultry farmers who wish to improve their farm animal welfare. We will award grants of up to $2,500 for projects designed to:
- Help farms transition to pasture-based systems, or
- More generally enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised, or
- Improve the marketing of their humane products
Below you will find more information on eligibility criteria and detailed instructions on how to complete the application. We are now accepting online applications through our website and hard copies through the mail. Online submissions are strongly encouraged.
Applications must completed online or postmarked by May 1, 2014. We will award grants by mid-August 2014. Please email or call (773) 525-4952 with any questions. We look forward to receiving your application!
Criteria for eligibility
- Projects must be designed to change on-farm management practices related to animal welfare and/or improve marketing of humane products. (No slaughter related proposals accepted.)
- Only farms located in the continental United States will be considered.
- FACT does not fund start-up ventures or non-profit organizations. A start-up venture is a farm that is in its first year of production and has not filed taxes on its operation in the past. New projects on existing farms will be considered. Funding for entities other than individuals will be considered on a case by case basis.
- No funds will be awarded for the purchase of animals or recurring expenses (e.g. animal feed, equipment maintenance, end-product ingredients such as spices).
- Farms applying for funding for a pasture or welfare project must raise at least one of the following animal species: pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle. Proposed on-farm animal welfare improvement projects must impact at least one of these species. Welfare and pasture projects solely focused on goats and sheep will not be eligible for funding.
- Farms applying for funding for a marketing based project must raise at least one of the following species: goats, sheep, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle.
- Grants will be made only to farmers for a project on a working, independent family farm. This is a farm on which a family or individual owns the animals, is engaged in the day to day management of the farm and its animals, derives a share of livelihood from the farm, and produces a livestock product for sale. (Schedule F form or a general farm income statement from your 2012 or 2013 tax return is required with application.)
- For grants geared toward marketing, applications will only be considered from farms already considered highly welfare-oriented as determined by holding one of the following certifications:
- American Grassfed Certified
- Animal Welfare Approved
- Certified Humane
- Certified Naturally Grown
- USDA Certified Organic
- All grant applications must include a concrete implementation plan. Non-marketing applications should include steps for increasing access to pasture and/or improving animal welfare of the pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows or beef cattle on the operation. Marketing applications should include steps needed to complete your project and grow your farm business.
- If awarded a grant, farmers must agree to a scheduled farm visit by FACT staff, photographs being taken on farm, and the use of the farm name/photos in FACT publications and websites.
- If awarded a grant, farmers will be provided with a grant contract for review and signature. Grantees will also be required to submit a short report at the conclusion of grant period (September 1, 2015).
- We will only accept one application per farm per year.
- Funding will not be considered for projects that have already been completed. Please note that the grant funding period runs from August 2014 through August 2015. All proposed projects should take place during this timeframe. If your project will begin sooner than that, please keep in mind that FACT will not fund elements of the project that are already completed before August 2014.
- Farms must be existing livestock or poultry operations and currently raising animals to be eligible for funding.
Grant Project Examples
For guidance on the general types of projects FACT aims to fund, please review the examples below. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. As long as you meet FACT’s eligibility criteria and make a compelling case that your project would effectively improve animal welfare and/or marketing of humane products, your proposal will be considered. A list of previously funded projects is available at www.fundafarmer.org.
Improving Access to pasture – Projects that would:
- Revamp existing housing to encourage outdoor access
- Build new housing, such as portable houses for frequent rotation of hens, integrated production systems, hoop houses
- Improve quality of pasture in terms of animal nutrition and health of land
- Increase shade and protect against the elements and predators
- Provide effective/safe fencing of pasture
General improvements to farm animal welfare – Projects that would:
- Provide alternatives to mutilation
- Provide more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors and instincts (cow scratchers, pig foraging areas, deep litter for poultry, etc.)
- Improve quality or size of winter shelter for animals
- Improve animals’ access to water
Increasing marketing capabilities – Projects that would:
- Assist with co-op development
- Aid website development to increase internet marketing
- Result in the production of marketing tools such as brochures, flyers, coupons, etc.
- Enable CSA development, farmers market participation or value-added products
- Enable training
Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2014
Online submissions are strongly encouraged. Please do not email your application directly to FACT as the file sizes are too big for our email server.
If you experience any difficulties with the online application, please contact Lisa Isenhart at .
Apply Online!Download PDF Application
If not submitting the application online, please mail completed applications to:
Food Animal Concerns Trust
Attn: Fund-a-Farmer Project
3525 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 213
Chicago, IL 60659
A completed application consists of the following elements:
- Application form (farm information & project summary information)
- Signed Authorization stating that your farm is a working, independent family farm
- Schedule F form (or comparable form) from your 2012 or 2013 tax return
- One page narrative proposal
- Detailed project budget
- Three color photographs that accurately depict the current state of your operation. At least one photograph should include the animals and their living conditions as described in your proposal.
Because FACT staff members are not able to meet and visit applicants, we ask that you provide us with three photographs of your operation. At least one photograph should include the animals and their living conditions as described in your proposal. The other photograph(s) can be of your buildings, land/pasture, etc. – whatever makes the most sense to support your proposal. Photographs can be uploaded on the online application. Please do not send more than three photographs, as the additional photographs will not be considered. If you are mailing your application, please include hard copies.
Section 1: Farm Information
Please provide us with all the basic information about your farm operation and business. Please write “N/A” for any fields that do not apply to you. Please note any other certifications your farm holds.
Section 2: Proposal Information
Please indicate the type of grant for which you are applying and which animals the project will impact. Estimate how many animals the project will impact. Applications for marketing grants must be from farms already holding one of the following humane certifications: American Grassfed Certified, Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, Certified Naturally Grown, or USDA Certified Organic. In this section we also ask you to summarize your proposal in a few sentences and include the dollar amount requested. Grants will be capped at $2,500 and may be used to partially or fully fund your project.
Section 3: Authorization
Please read the statement certifying that the farm for which the funds are requested is a working, independent family farm. If your operation meets this requirement, please have an authorized representative of your farm operation sign the online form. If your operation does not meet this requirement, please do not apply.
Section 4: Project Narrative
Please describe your proposed project in the space provided. Include information on:
- Brief summary & goal(s) of your project
- The number of and species of animal(s) you expect the project to impact
- The steps you plan to take to implement your project
- Please describe your project timeline and expected date of completion. The grant funding period runs from August 2014 through August 2015. All proposed projects should take place during this timeframe. If your project will begin sooner than that, please keep in mind that FACT will not fund elements of the project that are already completed before August 2014.
- How you will evaluate the success of your project in terms of animal welfare improvements and/or increased marketing ability?
- If you are applying for partial funding, please describe how you will pay for the remaining project expenses (e.g. other grants, out of pocket)
Section 5: Detailed Project Budget
Please provide us with a budget for your proposed project, including both the amount and the type of expenses. We do not require detailed financial information on your farm’s annual income and expenses other than total figures, along with your 2012 or 2013 Schedule F form. If certain expense categories do not apply to your project, you may leave them blank. Alternatively, please add any categories in which you expect to incur expenses, using additional lines as necessary. Please indicate the total cost for your project and if this amount differs from the amount requested from FACT (up to $2,500). Applications will be considered for projects requesting both partial and full funding.
Section 6: Additional Required Documents
Please use this section of the online application to upload three color photographs of your farm as well as your farm’s Schedule F form from your 2012 or 2013 tax return.