On-Farm Efficiency Grant

On-Farm Efficiency Grant

HDFFA is invested in increasing the ability of Central Oregon farmers and ranchers to overcome shocks and strains on their operations by providing financial support for on-farm infrastructure, supplies, and professional development.  We offer producers the opportunity to apply for On-Farm Efficiency Grants for up to $3,000 in grant funds with a 50% match. In 2023, this project is generously funded by a private donor. Applications for 2023 are now closed.

Congratulations to our 2023 On-Farm Efficiency Grant awardees:

Read more details on their successful project implementation at the 2023 Efficiency Grant Awardee Page!

How it Works

  • Dec 15, 2022 – Jan 17, 2023 – apply for an OFEG grant
  • July 1, 2023 – funds must be spent
  • July 29th 2023 – grant reports due
  • Available funds: up to $3,000 per farm
  • 50% match is required (cash and/or in-kind) such as labor or donated materials (see more information on match in the blue box below).
  • We suggest labor is valued at no less than $30/hour.
  • For grantees, 85% of the total grant amount will be disbursed by February 15th, 2023 and the remaining 15% of funds will be disbursed upon completion of the grant reporting requirements.
  • Farm/ranch must be located in Central Oregon (Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) with some exceptions close to these borders.
  • Farm/ranch must have been operational during 2022.
  • Farm/ranch must grow, raise, and sell products primarily in Central Oregon.
  • Farm/ranch is mindful of conserving land and water, maintaining healthy soils, and being responsible and transparent in their use of chemicals, fertilizers, manure, and other farm inputs.
  • Awardees must participate in at least one agriculture-related workshop or course either online or in-person between Dec. 2022 and July 2023.
    • The course does not need to be through HDFFA, but proof of the course or enrollment in course must be provided.
  • Examples of applicable workshops
    • Irrigation efficiencies for farmers in drought-prone areas
    • Calculating your cost of production
    • Regenerative pasture management.
  • Must participate in pre-grant and post-grant webinars (dates TBD) to learn about reporting requirements and share on results.

An external review committee will score each application based on the following criteria:

  • Does this project result in an on-farm efficiency improvement? (0-20 points)
  • Does this project have a positive environmental benefit? (0-20 points)
  • Does this project extend the farmer or rancher’s season or productivity rate of food? (0-20 points)
  • Is the budget clear, accurate, and financially sound? Must show 50% cost share. (0-20 points)

Priority points will be provided to:

  • Traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • Beginning (1-10 years of farm/ranch experience)
  • Living with a disability
  • U.S. veterans.

Additional points will also be awarded to HDFFA Partners and applicants who have not received funding from HDFFA in the past.

All points will be tallied, and applicants will be ranked by their total point value from highest to lowest. Funds will be distributed to applicants in the order in which they are ranked until funds are fully distributed. Some applicants may not be funded. All applicants will be notified of their funding status by the Agricultural Support Manager by January 31, 2022

Upon approval of an applicant’s grant application, grantees must:

  1. Complete a pre-grant webinar (date TBD) and verify their budget documentation, grantees will receive 85% of their requested grant amount.
  2. Once all documentation and reporting is complete, including participation in a post-grant webinar (date TBD), the remaining 15% of grant funds will be disbursed after July 31, 2022.
  3. Applicants must submit all required documentation including match forms before receiving the remaining 15% of grant funds.
  4. Grantees will need to submit documentation for every purchase and/or expense made on behalf of their project, which includes costs covered by the grant and costs incurred as match.

Documentation includes:

  • Receipts for all purchases and expenses
  • Reimbursement form or match form
  • Pictures before and after project implementation
  • Proof of agriculture-related course

Grantees are allowed to make changes in purchase quantities of up to 5% of their total budget without approval by HDFFA. For example, if your budget is $1,000 you can make changes of up to $50 such as if the purchase of a plastic cover in your project was $50 less than expected and you want to purchase more plastic, this is acceptable. If you want to spend that $50 on materials or supplies not previously in your budget or if you are making changes over the 5% threshold to your budget, you need to get approval from the Agricultural Support Manager by emailing andrea@hdffa.org.

Grant awardees will be required to submit a final report of their project no later than July 29, 2023, which will include:

  • Budget showing utilization of grant funds and matching costs.
  • Receipts for all costs covered by the grant, including matching costs.
  • Proof of participation in at least one agriculture-related training course.
  • A brief paragraph explaining how the grant improved their farm/ranch efficiency (include how many months or percent of food production increase if applicable).
  • 5 pre- and 5 post-project pictures.

Awardees will also be required to participate in a post-grant webinar (date TBD). Failure to complete both of these tasks will result in the remaining 15% of grant funds being withheld.

  • Dec 15, 2022: Kick-off of the grant and application opens
  • Dec 15 – Jan 17, 2023: Application period
  • Jan 17-27, 2023 – Review Period
  • Jan 31, 2023 – Grant Winner Announced
  • Spring 2023 – Pre-Grant Webinar
  • Feb 15, 2023 – Funds (85% of grant amount) disbursed
  • July 1, 2023 – Funds must be fully utilized
  • Summer -Post-Grant Follow-Up Meeting
  • July 29, 2023 – Reporting due and remaining funds disbursed (15% of grant amount)

We suggest for all supplies purchases that you share with other farmers/ranchers seeking similar equipment needs. If two farmers apply for the same equipment, we may introduce you with permission from both parties.

In 2022, HDFFA granted more than $45,000 to 7 farms and 7 ranches. To see the projects that were awarded the 2022 On-Farm Efficiency Grants, head to the grantee page.

We encourage all awardees to donate food through HDFFA’s Grow & Give program. Ranchers who do not qualify for G&G, please reach out to HDFFA to be connected to a food bank in need.

If you do not have enough funds to support the match requirement for this grant, please consider pairing this grant with other financing options:

You may not use any other USDA grants as matching funds for this project. USDA loans are allowed to be used for matching funds, but funds awarded by HDFFA cannot be used as repayment to the USDA.

This grant program is funded by a private donor. With these funds, HDFFA is able to award at least nine projects. At this time, we are actively searching for a match to meet additional demand and fund more projects.

With that being said, there is a possibility for a wait-list or second round of funding to be distributed. HDFFA will communicate to applicants of their grant status after the review period, and potential awardees will be notified as soon as funds are secured if they have been selected after the review period.

Future iterations of the On-Farm Efficiency Grant is dependent on HDFFA securing funding to continue this program.

Wash station at Sungrounded Farm

Project Categories and Examples

Applicants need to classify their project in ONE of the following categories, but are not limited to the suggested project examples included below.  For example, non-permanent fencing for a movable chicken coop only goes under Equipment Purchases.

Permanent Fixtures
  • Irrigation upgrades
  • Pond liners & piping
  • Fencing
  • High tunnels
  • Wash/pack houses and upgrade
  • Cold storage
  • Processing facility
  • Pollinator habitats
  • Biochar amendment
  • Shelter for livestock
  • Movable chicken coop
Supplies Purchases
  • Tractor
  • Mower
  • Weeder
  • Heat lamps
Professional Development and Technical Assistance
  • On-farm consultant
  • Business workshops
  • Technical assistance courses
  • Soil and/or water testing

Funds cannot be used for:

  1. Land
  2. Non on-farm projects (e.g. farmers market costs, delivery truck)
  3. Certifications (e.g. food safety, organic, non-GMO, animal welfare approved)
  4. Marketing (e.g. packaging, website development)

Contact Info

Andrea Smith
Agricultural Support Manager

Contact Us

We're not around right now, but we would love to hear from you. Team HDFFA

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