Below is a list of grants, loans and technical assistance that are available. Most of the grants and loans only apply towards community initiatives or nonprofit organizations. A few exceptions, such as the USDA Value-added Producer Grants, Mildred V. Horn Foundation, and the Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet Loan Program focus on the individual farm owner.
USDA Value-added Producer Grants

Purpose: To help eligible producers of agricultural commodities, agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and majority-owned producer-based business ventures develop business plans for viable marketing opportunities and develop strategies to create marketing opportunities in emerging markets.

Authorized Purposes: To assist in the economic planning of a project such as completion of a feasibility study, business plan, or market development plan or to provide working capital.

Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet

  • Incentive program for large initiatives that provides an opportunity for developer to recover 25% of their development costs over a 10-year period.
  • Website also includes information on Tourism Development Loan Program (see LOANS below) and Kentucky Signage Program (See SIGNAGE below)
  • Matching funds program – 50/50 match for:
    Tourism Publications
    Media Advertising
    Billboard Advertising
    Rack Rental Services
    Postage and Freight Expenses
    Consumer Travel Show Expenses
    Group Tour Marketplace Expenses
    Web Site Design and Maintained

Kentucky Department of Agriculture
2004 Market Development Cost-Share Grant from KDA - Division of Horiculture/Aquaculture

KY Ag Development Fund - Cultivating Rural Prosperity Project Application Packet (new Agritourism Competitive Awards Program & Farmers Market Competitive Grants Program.

Agritourism: (Agritourism Advisory Council from USDA funds awarded to West Kentucky Corporation)

Development and Improvement of New or Emerging Markets for Kentucky Horticulture Products, click here for downloadable PDF application.

Ag Development Board

Applications for Model Programs as well as information for entrepreneurs such as writing a business plan, and conducting a feasibility study

Click here for an excellent list of other funding sources

Funding for Education and Promotion Activities, Word Document or
Funding for Organization & Market Development, Word Document or PDF File

This is an Equal Opportunity Program. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law. Any complaints of discrimination may be filed with the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.

SARE Producer Grant Program

The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program recognizes the value and importance of On-Farm Research in developing solutions to agricultural production problems.

Galyan's SEEK Grants

SEEK stands for “support for Sports, Education, protecting the Environment and Kids. The SEEK Fund was created to specifically address those areas and encourage a well-informed, active, environmentally friendly and, perhaps most importantly, kid-friendly community.

USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants

RBEG grants are made to public bodies, nonprofits, and Indian tribes to encourage the development of small and emerging private business enterprises in rural areas.

USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grants

RBOG grants from this program provide technical assistance, training and planning activities that improve economic conditions in rural areas.


(Farmers interested in restoring historic properties for public use)

KY Heritage Council

  • Federal Survey and Planning grants are intended to identify historic resources, evaluate their significance, and plan for their future maintenance.
  • The other main grant program, known as State Preservation Grants, provide funding and technical support for the restoration/rehabilitation, stabilization, and protection of historic properties.
Mildred V. Horn Foundation Foundation Headquarters: Louisville, KY

Eligible Applicants: Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations wishing to preserve historic homes (1760-1860) that are open to public. Grant Mission/Description: Includes restoring historic homes in Kentucky
Minimum/Maximum Award: Not specified. Typical Funded Recipient/Project: Not listed
Status of Foundation Operations: Active Currently no website; call Scott Davis at 502-895-8908

OTHER GRANTS – For Community Improvements

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program:
- Community Food Projects - inc. innovative marketing activities to help producers and low-income consumers such as creating farmers' markets.
- Training and Technical Assistance Projects include addressing food security issues.

USDA's Rural Development-Rural Housing Service

Funding for community cultural facilities such as museums, cultural centers, libraries, etc.

A certified kitchen or farmer’s market might qualify.


The goal of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is to promote the economic viability of rural communities through partnerships with public and private community based organizations. RBS programs provide financial and technical assistance to rural businesses and cooperatives to create or preserve quality jobs in rural areas. RBS programs include:

  • Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan
  • Rural Business Opportunity Grant
  • Rural Business Enterprise Grant
  • Intermediary Relending Program
  • Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant
  • Rural Cooperative Development Grant
  • Value Added Producer Grant
  • Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Grants

Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet

Funds made available through this program are for the financing of fixed assets only with a maximum loan of $250,000. Projects approved for funding thus far include rock climbing experience, an equine show facility and a winery/restaurant being constructed with an existing historic bed & breakfast.

USDA Farm Services

This website includes farm loans, youth loans, disaster assistance, conservation programs, commodity loans, fact sheets and online forms

USDA’s Farm Service Agency

Includes information on loans for farms, youth, minorities, commodities, etc.


Small Business Association

Excellent website with information on how to start a business, write a business plan and finding capital (which does not mean they have grants available),


Dedicated to providing small business entrepreneurs with free, confidential face-to-face and e-mail business counseling.

Tennessee Valley Authority

Business Growth and Innovation Program provides technical assistance to small, disadvantaged and minority businesses within the Tennessee Valley Regional Area.


Kentucky Highway Guide Sign Programs