Agritourism is a worldwide phenomenon that can be both a source of supplemental income and an opportunity to provide public service. In the US, some people in rural areas take advantage of available agricultural resources such as farms or any agribusiness to create farm tours for school children or families, provide day camp facilities, self-harvesting of crops and other farm produce, and admit overnight stays in bed and breakfast amenities. The government has seen it fit therefore to provide grants for Agritourism as a way to support rural development.
Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grants
This program is under the auspices of the USDA through the office of Agricultural Marketing Service. It seeks to help in increasing consumption of domestic agricultural products by improving and expanding local farmers markets, agricultural programs and other producer to consumer facilities. Eligible applicants include among others local governments, agricultural cooperatives, and farmers market authorities in each region. Maximum amount of grant award is $75,000. More information about the program, its eligibility requirements, limitations and application procedure is available at the program’s headquarters:
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20250
Telephone: (202) 720-8317.
Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)
This US Department of Agriculture program provides both financial and technical support to agricultural producers for the purpose of implementing water enhancement projects that will conserve ground and surface water and improve its quality. This program is available to Indian tribes recognized by the federal government, state and local governments, agricultural associations and other nongovernmental organizations involved in agricultural concerns. Amount of funds for the whole program varies each year as it depends on available appropriations and priorities of the agency handling the program. You can get more information about this program from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep/
National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program
This program of the USDA awards grants that can be used for research and development projects designed to help create sustainable production systems for agricultural products, including ranching and forestry, and revitalize rural economies. You can get more information about eligibility requirements, application procedure, project examples and other program offerings here:
National Program Office
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20250-2241
Telephone: (202) 401-1898
Fax: (202) 401-4327
The US Census of Agriculture conducted in 2007 revealed that Agritourism and related recreation services were valued at more than $566,000,000. This is definitely an indication that Agritourism in the country is alive and deserves government support through grants for Agritourism. These grants can come to you through the different government agencies tasked with providing financial and technical assistance to eligible entities.