Accessing Cost-Share Funding Through Growing Forward

Many Farm Business Owners are aware that Government cost-share funding is available to them for use toward business and succession planning. They want to access the funding and take control of their business and succession planning, but they haven’t done it yet.

There are a dozen reasons why not – the most obvious of which is that most people don’t enjoy talking about death or taxes. But like every farmer knows, you reap what you sow. If you put the time and effort in upfront you’ll see the results in the harvest. This article will explain the process involved in gaining access to cost-share funding for you or your farm business through the Growing Forward initiative.

Investing in farm business and succession planning is at the heart of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial government initiative Growing Forward.  We at ALLEN Trusts & Estates will not only guide you through the business and succession planning process, but we will also assist you in accessing government funding to pay the fees of our professional Farm Business Advisors and Lawyers.

Growing Forward Cost-Share Funding Opportunities for Your Farm Business

Below are a number of cost share funding programs currently available. There are a number of wonderful cost-share opportunities available to farm business owners through the Growing Forward initiative in addition to the ones mentioned in this article. Please visit the Growing Forward website for a full list of available programs and cost-share opportunities.

Farm Financial Assessment (FFA)

We will assist you in the preparation of an Action Plan that will include a comprehensive assessment of your current financial position. An OMAFRA approved Farm Business Advisor will prepare a Farm Financial Assessment to be used as the starting point for the business and successions plans. Under the Business Development for Farm Businesses program, all but $100 of the professional fees for the preparation of this report will be paid for by cost-share funding. ALLEN Trusts & Estates will apply for, and collect this funding on your behalf. As an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs OMAFRA approved Farm Business Advisor, we do not require additional out of pocket expenses to start the process.

Farm Business Succession Plan

Through the Advanced Business Plan (ABP) component of the Development for Farm Businesses program your eligible and existing farm businesses may receive cost-share funding for up to 50% of the cost, to a maximum of $8,000 per plan. Three separate plans may be completed to a maximum of $20,000. New Farm Businesses may be eligible to access cost share funding up to 75% of the cost of the ABP to a maximum of $20,000. Up to three separate projects may be completed with a maximum cost per project of $12,000.

The Business Plan Implementation (BPI) component of the Development for Farm Businesses program provides eligible and existing farm business with possible cost-share funding up to 50 % of the costs of implementation, such as the costs of putting legal documents in place, to a maximum of $3,000  to help you implement elements of your advanced business plan (ABP). New Farm Businesses may be able to access 75% of the cost of performing their BPI up to a maximum of $4,500.

Who can Access Cost-Share Funding through Growing Forward?

There is a process involved when it comes to gaining funding through the growing forward program. A number of eligibility requirements for funding include;

  • be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant at least 19 years of age,
  • operate or have ownership in a commercial farm or agricultural processing facility within the Province,
  • have a minimum of $15,000 in annual gross farm sales or provincially processed agricultural products as reported to the Canada Revenue Agency within three years prior to the application date, and
  • have completed an Environmental Farm Plan within the last five years.

For more information on how to apply for funding, view the original article from ALLEN Trusts and Estates here.

- Chris Allen, Dir. Sales & Marketing at ALLEN Trusts & Estates