On-Farm Efficiency Grant

Applications for the 2024 On-Farm Efficiency Grant are open until January 15th, 2024.

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 2024, this project is funded by a private donor with additional funding provided by the USDA Community Food Projects Grant. 

HDFFA will be hosting an informational webinar about the On-Farm Efficiency Grant on Friday, December 15th, at 11am. Please make sure to register here.

How it Works

  • Dec 1st, 2023 – Jan 15, 2024 – application period is open.
  • July 1, 2024 – funds must be spent
  • July 31st 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 project-related purchases (see more information on match in the blue box below).
  • 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.

Applications will be asked to provide the following information:

  • A project narrative
  • A project timeline
  • An accurate budget spreadsheet that details all purchases, including match
  • Supporting documentation for any purchases over $500
  • 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 be operational for the 2024 growing season.
  • 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. 2023 and July 2024.
    • 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 include:
      • 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 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 farmers identifying as:

  • Traditionally underserved (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 previous five years.

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. Since the OFEG launched in 2021, this grant has been a competitive funding opportunity. Not all projects will be funded.

All complete applications will receive a rubric with the average scores from their reviewers.

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 at this time.
  2. Once all documentation and reporting is complete, the remaining 15% of grant funds will be disbursed after July 31, 2024. Applicants must submit all required documentation before receiving the remaining 15% of grant funds.
  3. 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.

    Grant awardees will be required to submit a final report of their project no later than July 31st, 2024, which will include:

    • Budget showing utilization of grant funds and matching costs.
    • Receipts for all costs covered by the grant, including matching costs, preferred in a combined PDF and/or folder of images.
    • 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).
    • 3 pre- and 3 post-project pictures that show the scope of the project. Preferred formats include: JPEG, PNG, HEIC/HEIF, or PDF (separate files). Video format is also acceptable.

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

    Grantees are allowed to make changes in purchase quantities of up to 10% of their total budget without approval by HDFFA. Any changes above 10% need approval from the Agricultural Support Manager (ASM). The ASM will confirm that it is a reasonable adjustment in cost, stays within stated project goals, and aligns with your submitted budget and match amount. The ASM will support you to create a new budget. For example, if your budget is $1,000 you can make changes of up to $100 such as if the purchase of a plastic cover in your project was $100 less than expected and you want to purchase more plastic, this is acceptable. If you want to spend that $100 on materials or supplies not previously in your budget or if you are making changes over the 10% threshold to your budget, you need to get approval from the Agricultural Support Manager. 

    • Dec 1, 2023: Kick-off of the grant and application opens
    • Dec 1 – Jan 15, 2024: Application period
    • Jan 16-31, 2024 – Review Period
    • Jan 31, 2024 – Grant Winner Announced
    • February, 2024 – Pre-Grant Webinar
    • Feb 15, 2024 – Funds (85% of grant amount) disbursed
    • July 1, 2024 – Funds must be fully utilized
    • Summer – Post-Grant Follow-Up Meeting
    • July 31st, 2024 – Reporting due and remaining funds disbursed (15% of grant amount)
    • Fall, 2024 – Post-season Follow-Up Survey

    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 14 businesses; in 2023, HDFFA funded an additional nine projects amounting to nearly $27,000. To see the projects that were awarded previous year, head to the 2023 Awardee Webpage.

    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.

    You may also consider your own labor for project implementation as a match. HDFFA suggests a minimum of $30/hour for time spent on construction, design, or other needs to set up your project. This does not include labor for maintenance or regular operations.

    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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