Cover photo for Brighter Future Microgrant Program

Brighter Future Microgrant Program

American Farmland Trust

Closed July 15, 2023

AFT seeks to support farmers across America through the Brighter Future Fund. We also recognize that social and racial injustices are entrenched in the history of our nation and our agricultural system. Our past informs inequities that persist today, and marginalized agricultural producers have been denied equal opportunity to prosper, facing challenges such as loan discrimination, barriers to accessing federal and private programs, exploitative labor practices, intimidation, and theft and appropriation of land.

In recognition of the need for greater equity and inclusion for all groups who have been, and still are, marginalized, we aim to support these producers through the Brighter Future Fund. For 2022-23, we are focused on providing resources to beginning, women and veteran farmers, as well as those historically resilient farmers identifying as socially disadvantaged in alignment with the USDA.


A project may involve an individual farmer OR a farm family. Only one grant can be awarded per farm entity.

Eligible Projects

Professional Services

  • Hiring an attorney to develop a farm lease, provide legal representation for a farm transfer or purchase, develop an estate plan to support a farm transfer, or navigate heir property issues.

  • Hiring a business, financial or estate planning consultant to assist with a farm transfer plan, business plan, or finance/loan plan.

  • Hiring a service provider to support business planning and other services necessary for farmland access or expansion such as land search planning, property assessment, facilitation, succession planning, or crafting agreements.

  • Paying transaction costs associated with securing land to farm. These may include costs associated with purchasing a farm, negotiating a lease agreement, or developing an agricultural conservation easement (e.g., survey, appraisal, etc.).

Infrastructure and Equipment

  • Paying capital costs associated with improving soil health and enhancing land for farm production. Examples include: irrigation, fencing, or soil improvements.

  • Purchasing farm equipment or implements that would allow farmers to improve soil health, increase productivity, or enhance crop quality.

  • Acquiring new equipment or making improvements to increase marketing and sales of farm products.

  • Replacing infrastructure or equipment lost or compromised from natural disasters.


  • AFT will pay invoices directly to an applicant who is purchasing equipment or infrastructure. Payment to a service provider that is providing requested services or business supplying infrastructure or equipment can be considered.

  • Within one year of the award date, applicants will be asked to submit: all receipts showing how the funds were spent, a written paragraph describing the project, and photos documenting how award funds were used.

  • AFT anticipates paying approved expenses directly within 60 days of receiving a satisfactory invoice.

  • For funds paid directly to the farmer, funds may be a reimbursement.

  • AFT shall have no obligation to disburse amounts in excess of the approved grant, for services not completed, or goods or services not approved by AFT. Any expenses that exceed the grant maximum amount are the responsibility of the applicant.

  • Expenses incurred prior to receiving written notification of approval will not be reimbursable by the grant.

  • Any unspent grant funds may be dedicated towards further services for the applicant, pending written AFT approval. 

Application Instructions

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The grant administrators anticipate it will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes to complete.

When ready, complete the application online at this portal.


Release Date

July 1, 2023


July 15, 2023

Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Updated June 29, 2023

Image Credit: AFT

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