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2024 Force Multiplier Grant

2024 Force Multiplier Grant Guidelines

 

Applications open March 1, 2024, for the PA Veteran Farming Project Network 2024 Force Multiplier Grants.  Funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, this grant program recognizes honorably discharged veteran owner-operator farmers in Pennsylvania and supports them in expanding their farming operations to make them more profitable and sustainable.

 

Competitive grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded. Application closes Monday, April 1st at 5 pm ET. Awards are anticipated to be announced in May, 2024. On-farm projects must be completed/installed by December 1, 2024.

 

Total project budget may not exceed $10,000.

Your application should make clear how the proposed project will directly improve efficiency of your operation, build infrastructure to stabilize and enhance your operation, and/or grow customer base.

 

Eligibility (All must apply):

 

  • Honorably discharged U.S. military veterans who own and operate working, for-profit farms in Pennsylvania.

  • Must reside in Pennsylvania.

  • Veteran must be a 50% or more owner of the farm and must invest significant daily effort in farm operations.

Previous Force Multiplier grantees are eligible to apply; however, new applicants will receive priority.

One application per farm. If jointly owned by veterans, you may apply as co-applicants, but only one grant per farm will be awarded.

 

Eligible projects:

  • New on-farm projects only.

  • Tangible improvement projects (equipment, supplies, signage).

How to Apply:  Applications will be accepted online. Required attachments: DD214, concise business plan (maximum 10 pages), Schedule F filed with the IRS within the last 3 years, budget worksheet (upload here).

Application is open  here now.

Applicants must adhere to word count limits; it is strongly suggested that you draft your responses in Word, then copy and paste into the online form.

 

Incomplete applications will not be accepted nor reviewed. Questions about the application should be directed to director@troopstotractors.org

Allowable costs:  Equipment, supplies, contracted labor necessary to complete the project as described in your application. Grant funds may not be used to pay labor costs for applicant, their family members, or employees.

 

Your budget request must be necessary, reasonable, and supported by bids/quotes. Marketing materials other than on-farm signage are not eligible expenses. 

 

Purchases made prior to the grant award are not allowable.

How will awardees be chosen?  Each application will be judged for administrative completeness by program staff.  Complete applications from eligible applicants will be reviewed by an independent panel of qualified judges.  Decisions of the Grantor are final. Read and follow guidelines and the application fields carefully.

Reporting: Awardees will be required to submit a W-9 (IRS miscellaneous income form) with signed grant contract before you may begin your project. Final reports including receipts and photo(s) required by the deadline specified in grant contract (TBD). Upon request of PAVFN, a site visit to see the completed project in use will be required. 

Is the award taxable? Yes, grant award money is taxable per IRS regulations. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

Application tips:

  1. Type your answers to the application fillable fields in Word, then cut and paste into the online application. In Word, to check word counts, highlight what you've written; go to Review Tab; select Word Count. 

  2. There is no required format for your business plan, but there is a 10 page limit. See plan resources here

  3. To upload quotes/bids to support your budget, use a free online combiner such as this one or a similar program to combine more than one quote into one pdf for upload. 

  4. Ensure that your contact information is correct on your application. If we have a question  and are unable to reach you your application will be disqualified.

FAQs:

1. If we have several smaller projects that would total $10,000, can we combine them in one application? Yes.

2. Should we have everything in place to begin our project as soon as we get an award letter? Yes, you should have your plan in place in order to apply, but do  not purchase anything prior to a signed award letter/contract. Purchases made prior to an award will not be reimbursed, and you will need to provide receipts showing date of purchase(s) when you submit your final report.

Why the Schedule F requirement?

One of our eligibility requirements is that applicants be working, independent, veteran-owned farms. These are farms on which a family or individual owns the animals or crops, is engaged in the day to day management of the farm, derives a share of livelihood from the farm, and produces an agricultural product for sale. The Schedule F tax form is how most organizations ascertain that your farm is a working farm business. You must have filed a Schedule F with the IRS for at least 2 years of the past 10 be eligible to apply for a Force Multiplier Grant.

In operation for 3 years or less? See Community Partnerships of Butler's Veteran Ag beginning farmer grant here.

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