SOACDF offering a variety of agricultural programs to assist southern Ohio farmers

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) is again offering an opportunity for farmers in Southern Ohio. The programs are similar to previous years, however, this year, a new requirement is that eligible parties must provide documentation of the most recent tax return which shows farm activity (ex. Schedule F, form 1120, 1065, 4835, etc.).

The Young Farmer Agricultural Program is designed to facilitate growing an agricultural enterprise to the next level. The intent of the program is to help promote and ensure a strong future in southern Ohio agriculture. Eligible applicants must be ages 20 – 38 as of August 1, 2016 and must reside within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves.

The Agricultural Development Program is open to any individual who resides within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves that have either a Farm Service Agency (FSA) number on record. It is very similar to the Young Farmer, however there is no age requirement.

SOACDF will award up grants in both of programs of up to $25,000 each. The grants will be 50% cost shares with the awardees.

Returning this year is an Environmental/Water Quality Grant Program which is open only to tobacco quota owners, quota owner/growers or grower/tenants of FSA records in any single crop year from 1997-2004. The maximum reimbursement is $10,000 and focuses on improvements made on farming operations such as stream crossings, containment systems, and manure storage facilities.

Applications, including a business plan, will be accepted for the programs throughout August. Applications are available at the SOACDF office in Hillsboro, the local Farm Service Agency or online at www.soacdf.net

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The Business Development Network is available to meet with applicants to review components of their applications and business plan. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Joy Bauman at 740-289-2071 Ext. 111. Please call to schedule an appointment before August 11.