Farm Grants Ontario: Do You Know These 57 Ontario Farming Grants & Loans?

Farming can be a volatile business, but there is lots of financial help if you know where to look – including grants for Ontario farmers.

Whether you’re looking for farm grants for beginning farmers, young farmer grants, grants to buy a farm, or grants to purchase farm supplies or equipment, this list has you covered!

Many of these programs are even “stackable”, so take a look and see how much funding you can access!

In this comprehensive guide to farm grants in Ontario, we cover more than just grants – we also highlight other types of farm financing, including farm loans, farm tax credits, and much more.

What is a Farm Grant?

The Government of Canada defines a grant as:

a transfer payment subject to pre-established eligibility and other entitlement criteria. A grant is not subject to being accounted for by a recipient nor normally subject to audit by the department. The recipient may be required to report on results achieved.

So, a farm grant is:

  • A non-repayable transfer payment that is available to farmers and producers;
  • Subject to specific eligibility criteria; and
  • May or may not need to be reported on

What Can a Farm Grant Be Used For?

Farm grants can be used to pay for many aspects of starting or running a farm. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:

  • Starting a farm
  • Working capital for farms
  • Buying or leasing farm equipment
  • Marketing a farm
  • Hiring employees for a farm

And that’s just a sample! See the section below with a complete list of farm grants available.

How Much Grant Money Can I Get for My Farm?

In our database we currently have grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000,000.

Am I Eligible for a Farm Grant? Common Eligibility Criteria

Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.

We analyzed the farm grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:

  • Earn income from the primary production of agricultural commodities
  • Farm in Canada
  • Be a for-profit organization
  • Be incorporated
  • Be able to enter into a legally binding agreement

Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.

Farm Grants for Ontario: Current Grants Available

Now we get to the good stuff! In the table below we list the grants currently available to Ontario farmers and producers.

To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:

Farm Grants for Ontario Farmers

Name of ProgramAmountType
Environment and Climate Change Canada Climate Action Incentive Fund: Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Project Stream$250000Grant
AgriInsurance Program: Quick Guide for FarmersNo Fixed AmountGrant
AgriRecovery Program: Quick Guide for FarmersNo Fixed AmountGrant
AgriStability Program: Quick Guide for FarmersNo Fixed AmountGrant
AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) Program: Quick Guide for Farmers$5000000Grant & Loan
AgriInvest Program: Quick Guide for Farmers$10000Grant
Rural Agri-Innovation Network - Sustainable New Agri-Food Products & Productivity Program$10000 Grant
Rural Agri-Innovation Network - Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing Program$25000 Grant
Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario - Beginning Farmer Program$50000 Grant, In-Kind Support
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Wine Sector Support Program25000000Grant
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Supply Management Processing Investment Fund$5000000Grant
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Price Pooling Programno fixed amountGrant
IAPO Financing for Business Start Ups & Expansion Program (FNBSEP) (2022)$100000Grants & Loan
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), Honey Bee Health Management (2022)$3500Grant
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), Advancing Beekeeper Business Capacity (2022)$3500Grant
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Agricorp – Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program (2022)No Fixed AmountGrant
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) – Grassroots Growth Program: Grassroots Growth Initiative (2022)No Fixed AmountGrant
Agricorp -Grain Financial Protection Program (2022)No Fixed AmountCompensation
Canadian Dairy Commission - Matching Investment Fund (MIF)$150000Grant
Protein Industries Canada (PIC) – Capacity Building ProgramNo Fixed AmountGrant
Protein Industries Canada (PIC) – Technology ProgramNo Fixed AmountGrant
Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment ProgramNo Fixed AmountGrant
Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Canada Pavilion ProgramNo fixed AmountGrant
Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program: Adoption Stream$2000000Grant
Government of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund (CFSOF)No Fixed AmountGrant
Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) and the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NWOIC) – Sustainable New Agri-Food Products & Productivity (SNAPP) Program – COVID 19 Response (2022)$10000Grant
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) – Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Enhanced Biosecurity for African Swine Fever Preparedness$ 40000.00Grant
Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative – Strategic Solutions (2022)$1000000Grant
Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative – Funding for Sectors (2022)No Fixed AmountGrant
Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Market Access Initiative (2022)$30000Grant
Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Cost-share Funding for Processors and Other Businesses (2022)No Fixed AmountGrant
Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) (2022)$2500000Grant
Dairy Direct Payment Program – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) (2022)No Fixed AmountGrant
AgriCompetitiveness Program – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2022)$1000000Grant
AgriDiversity Program – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2022)$ 200000.00Grant
AgriAssurance Program (National Industry Association Component) – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2022)$1000000Grant
AgriAssurance Program (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Component) – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada$50000Grant

Make sure to check out the programs offered by Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. While specific to Northern Ontario, they have a number of programs for farmers.


Guaranteed Government Grants

Get a FREE 45-page guide with proven steps to business grants success:

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    How to Apply for Farm Grants: Follow These 10 Steps

    While the application steps for farming grant programs vary, here are some common steps:

    1. Gather grants that target your purpose of funding, demographic, industry, or region
    2. Zoom in on grants that are a close fit with your farm’s goals
      • Read each program’s eligibility criteria
      • Dig deeper into the program guide
    3. Contact the grant agencies. Questions to ask:
      • Is my business eligible?
      • Have businesses like mine won this grant before?
      • Are there many businesses applying?
      • When is the deadline for applying?
    4. Draft a one-pager grant application abstract (this will force you to see if you qualify)
    5. Write a rough draft of the grant application and send to the grant agency
    6. Gather/prepare your documents (including letters of reference)
    7. Write the full application
    8. Submit the application
    9. Follow up after submission
    10. Move forward with other types of business funding (see below for other types of farm funding)

    Other Types of Funding for Ontario Farms

    Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of funding information for farmers and producers. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to farmers:

    Loans for Farms in Ontario

    • Government Loans for Farms

    A loan might not sound as good as a grant, but many loans for farmers have a low interest rate. While they might not be free money, if you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan is probably the next best thing.

    The programs below include government loans and loan guarantees (which are loans that are provided by commercial banks but guaranteed by the government):

    Government Loans for Ontario Farmers

    Government Loan Guarantees for Ontario Farmers

    • Commercial Loans for Farms

    If you’re not eligible for a government loan, you might consider one of the commercial loans available for farms. Below is a sample of current loan programs offered by the “Big 5” Canadian banks that are available specifically for farming operations:

    • Lines of Credit for Farmers

    In addition to loans, there are lines of credit offered by some commercial banks specifically for farmers.

    A line of credit can be a handy way to finance ongoing operations if you have occasional shortfalls in cashflow, need to finance a small equipment purchase, among other uses.

    Here are some lines of credit currently available for farmers:

    • Bank Accounts for Farmers

    While not exactly a type of funding for farmers, some commercial banks in Canada offer bank accounts specifically for farmers, producers, and agricultural businesses. These accounts offer special perks and are worth checking out:

    • Subsidies for Farmers

    A subsidy is a type of financial assistance provided by the government to promote an economic policy (such as high employment). Wage subsidies are the most common subsidies.

    In the table below you’ll find some of the subsidies currently available for Ontario farmers:

    Subsidies for Ontario Farms

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) – Green Jobs Program$32000Wage Subsidy
    • Tax Credits for Farmers

    A tax credit reduces the tax that a business pays on its taxable income. Below is a sample of the tax credits available for farmers:

    Tax Credits for Ontario Farmers

    • Rebates for Farmers

    A rebate is a partial refund made to a business by a government, utility company, etc. Common rebates include tax rebates, energy rebates, etc.

    In the table below you’ll find some rebates currently available for farmers:

    Rebates for Ontario Farmers

    • Investments for Farmers

    An investment is a contribution of funds to a business in exchange for equity (i.e., ownership in the business).

    Investments are typically made by angel investors, venture capitalists, and private equity organizations, but in some cases federal government organizations (such as the Business Development Bank of Canada) also makes equity investments in businesses.

    In the table below you’ll find investment programs currently available for farming operations:

    Investment Programs for Ontario Farmers

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    Ag Capital Canada - Private Equityno fixed amountInvestment
    Forage Capital Partners - Forage Capital Ag & Food Business Solutions Fundno fixed amountInvestment

    Best Farm Grants, Loans & More for Ontario Farmers

    While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best grants, loans, tax credits & more for farmers:

    Best Government Grants for Farmers

    AAFC AgriStability

    Use the AgriStability program to help you when you experience a sharp margin decline. When you do, you could be paid whenever your current year program margin falls below 70% of your reference margin (learn more about program margins and reference margins).

    All you have to do is set up direct deposit and an account to get started. To do both of these, just get in touch with AgriStability administration. You can also contact them for more information.

    AAFC AgriInsurance

    AgriInsurance is a federal-provincial-producer cost-shared program that stabilizes a producer’s income by minimizing the economic effects of primarily production losses caused by severe but uncontrollable natural hazards. Some examples of possible eligible perils are drought, flood, wind, frost, excessive rain, heat, snow, uncontrolled disease, insect infestations and wildlife.

    AAFC Canada Pavilion Program

    The Canada Pavilion Program is aimed at making trade show participation easier at the world’s premier food and beverage events, “where the world shops”. With trade shows being an integral marketing technique used by industry when entering new regions, the Canada Pavilion Program will allow companies to take advantage of opportunities arising from market access gains.

    AAFC Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program

    The Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program (PEFIP) aims to help supply-managed poultry and egg producers adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

    AAFC Supply Management Processing Investment Fund

    The Supply Management Processing Investment Fund (SMPIF) helps processors of supply-managed commodities adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The program provides non-repayable contributions to support investments in dairy, poultry, and egg processing facilities that improve productivity and/or efficiency through the purchase of new automated equipment and technology.

    AAFC Price Pooling Program

    The Price Pooling Program provides a price guarantee that protects marketing agencies and producers against unanticipated declines in the market price of their products. Program participants use the price guarantee as security in obtaining credit from lending institutions. This credit allows the marketing agency to improve cash flow of producers through an initial payment for products delivered. It also provides equal returns to producers for products of like grades, varieties, and types.

    AAFC Wine Sector Support Program

    The Wine Sector Support Program (WSSP) provides short-term financial support to licensed Canadian wineries as they adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges that impact financial resilience and competitiveness of the wine industry.

    The program will provide non-repayable grants to wine licensees in Canada based on their production of bulk wine fermented in Canada from domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products.

    Best Government Loans for Farmers

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Environmental Solutions

    Have you decided it’s time to save money and reduce your environmental footprint by changing to using renewable resources? Now’s a great time to do so as FCC’s Environmental Solutions program offers incentives when you switch to solar, wind, biogas, and geothermal energy.

    Save money on your monthly bills over time, make your farm more energy efficient, and ensure your farm is sustainable by switching, and use FCC’s financing program to help you do that.

    You’ll even get the option of interest-only payments or deferred payments when necessary when you finance your upgrades with this program.

    Just give them a call at 1-888-332-3301 to get started or send them an email.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Equipment

    Use the FCC Equipment loan specifically to buy the equipment you need for your farm, whatever that may be. FCC offers lower down payments and more flexible terms than other lenders, and you can pay off your loan early with no penalty.

    And if you call 1-800-510-6669 before you go equipment shopping, you can get pre-approved so when you find what you need, you can buy it right away instead of waiting on financing.

    If you’re not interested in buying but would rather lease, they’ve got you covered there too. Enjoy a lower price upfront and the option to buy your equipment outright at the end of your lease, all for better terms than with a regular bank.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Land & Buildings

    So you don’t need equipment and you’re not in the market for livestock, but you do need more land or another building to expand your current farm operation.

    Then FCC’s Land & Buildings program has what you need in this regard too. You can even choose to schedule payments around your growing cycles, off-farm income, and during construction, or any other way that suits your business. Plus, you can take advantage of the same interest-only or deferred payment options as with all their other programs.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Livestock

    Livestock is costly but integral to your business, and now it’s a little more affordable with a couple different financing options offered under FCC’s Livestock program

    First, take advantage of a credit line specifically designed to help you purchase livestock. You’ll work with an FCC relationship manager and figure out the best rates and terms for you when you get your pre-approved credit line with them.

    Or, you could opt to work with a Livestock Alliance Partner and get rates just as competitive as with FCC. This way, you can purchase and finance your livestock in the same place and with a company and its products that were created just for farmers. To try the FCC Livestock credit line, call 1-888-332-3301, visit your local field office, or send an email. And to work with a Livestock Alliance Partner, check out this list of partners.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Young Farmers: Young Farmer Loan

    This loan program is divided into 2 parts: the Young Farmer Loan and the Starter Loan. The best part is you don’t have to be really young to qualify for financing.

    The Young Farmer Loan is aimed at farmers 40 and under. Buy the assets you need up to $1 million with this financing. You’ll pay just prime plus 0.5% and no processing fees. And when you take advantage of financing with FCC, you’ll also get help putting your business plan together and more.

    The Starter Loan was designed for even younger farmers. If you’re 25 and under, look into this one to start the farm you’ve dreamed of. Get special rates with FCC financing and use the money to buy equipment or livestock and more and build the credit history you’ll need in the future.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – FCC Input Financing

    FCC Input Financing provides loans to purchase fuel, fertilizer, and crop protection. Input financing is offered through local retailers allowing farmers to purchase and finance their inputs at the same time. Funding is a loan of up to 100% of applicants’ input purchase through the local retailers.

    Best Government Loan Guarantees for Farmers

    AAFC Advance Payments Program

    Sometimes you just need the money to prep for the next season and you just don’t have it yet. It doesn’t matter what got in the way—the weather, the market, even the government—because AAFC’s Advance Payments Program for farmers solves that problem for you.

    Get up to $1 million to buy your product with these low-interest cash advances, as long as your product fits one of these categories:

    • crops, grains, and oilseeds
    • fruits and vegetables
    • livestock (cattle, hogs, sheep, bison, rabbits, red deer, boar, goats, elk)
    • certain breeding animals intended to be marketed during the production period (cattle, goats, sheep, hogs)
    • bees intended to be marketed during the production period
    • fur pelts and cervid antler velvet
    • honey and maple syrup

    This loan guarantee program also pays the interest on the first $100,000 advanced and the first $500,000 advanced to canola producers.

    You just repay the advance as you sell your product, and you can take up to 18 months to pay it back, 24 months for cattle and bison.

    Most farms of all sizes qualify, so apply by contacting an Advance Payments Program administrator. They’ll guide you through the application process, let you know which additional documents to send, and tell you of any administration fees.

    AAFC Canadian Agricultural Loans Act (CALA) Program

    This program can help you access the loan you need to establish, improve, or develop your farm by offering your lender a guarantee that they will receive 95% of any loan you default on—if you qualify, which you do if you’re a Canadian farmer and your lender accepts your loan application.

    You can use your loan guarantee to find funding for just about anything, but the maximum amount they will guarantee is $500,000. You don’t have to do anything to apply because your lender will register the loan on your behalf. You can even go back to your lender to see if they have registered your loan, and if they haven’t, they can do it retroactively within 60 days.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Farm Transfers

    If it’s time for you to retire and let the next generation take the reins, or the other way around, consider using FCC’s specially designed Farm Transfers financing program.

    There’s plenty of benefits for using this financing program when transferring farms, for both the buyer and the seller. For example, the buyer may not need as much capital to put down and the seller may agree to accept payment over time with FCC’s full-payment guarantee. Conversely, the seller could see tax advantages when you accept payments over time rather than in one lump sum. Plus, again, the seller is guaranteed full payment.

    This program also offers interest-only or deferred payments, and even offers the buyer the option of financing the down payment for up to 7 years, if you qualify.

    Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program

    By partnering with local Feeder Cattle Cooperatives throughout Ontario, the Feeder Cattle Loan Guarantee Program offers you access to up to $500,000 to buy feeder cattle when you need to by giving your lender a loan guarantee.

    The ministry gives each regional cooperative a different total loan limit they can guarantee per year, so if you’re curious, check out the regional limit in your area.

    To apply for a loan guarantee for this program, contact your local cooperative’s administrator. You’ll be asked to become a member of the cooperative (there is a membership fee attached plus a few more administrative fees) and then to apply for a purchase order. Once you’ve made it through those steps, then you can purchase your cattle.

    Best Tax Credits for Farmers

    AAFC Livestock Tax Deferral Provision

    The Livestock Tax Deferral provision allows farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in prescribed drought or flood regions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year. To defer income, the breeding herd must have been reduced by at least 15%.

    Ontario Ministry of Finance – Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit for Farmers

    The Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit for Farmers is a non-refundable income tax credit for farmers who donate agricultural products to eligible community food programs in Ontario, including food banks. The credit is worth 25% of the fair market value of the agricultural products donated and can be claimed for donations made on or after January 1, 2014.

    Best Non-Profit Grants for Farmers

    Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) – Beginning Farmer Program

    The Beginning Farmer Program (BFP) is a multiyear program designed to support new beginning First Nations farmers between the ages of 16 and 40 through all stage of farm business start-up. BFP supports the creation, development, and investment in the new farm businesses. The program has two distinct areas of focus:

    Best Non-Profit Loans for Farmers

    Agricultural Credit Corporation Commodity Loan Program

    Could you use a short-term loan to buy operating supplies such as seed, fertilizer, or pesticides? Look no further! This program is administered by the Agricultural Credit Corporation to lend you what you need for your next crop, up to $750,000. And the best part is you only pay an interest rate of prime on the loan

    Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) – Ontario Beef Breeder Co-operative Program

    As part of the Beef Breeder Co-operative Program, eight co-ops have been formed in various regions of the province to provide members with loans to purchase beef breeding females. Funding ranges from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on co-op. Those who have not calved out 20 cows in previous year, are limited to a maximum of $25,000.

    Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) First Nations Farm and Business Financing

    IAPO’s First Nations Farm and Business Financing offers financing products to serve the needs of First Nation agriculture. Loans are available for farms, agricultural related businesses as well as value added enterprises.

    There are four types of loans: term loans (available for machinery, livestock, buildings, farm improvements and land); 0perating credit (lines of credit loans are available for input costs such as seed, feed, and fertilizer); tile drainage loans (for installing tile and drains on agricultural land); and HerdBuilder loans (cashflow for expanding beef herds).

    The Bottom Line

    Here’s what it all boils down to: agricultural producers of all sorts are the backbone of this country. And the sheer number of financial incentive programs available at the federal and provincial levels reflect that.

    Most of the programs take a fair amount of work to apply for with all the supporting documents required, but in this industry, you’re no stranger to hard work. Besides, once you’ve created and put together all the required documents for one program, you can always use most of those same documents to apply to other programs.

    Get all the money you need and are entitled to. You’ll find there’s more money out there for you than you thought!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *