UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center

Grants and Loans for Agriculture

The right support and funding can transform any venture. Whether your business works with livestock, commercial horticulture and crops, or food processing and forestry products, there are loans and grants designed to fit the unique needs of your Missouri agriculture business.

Ag loan and grant basics

Like any entrepreneur, producers can help their businesses grow by tackling big questions. How can you lower costs and maximize profits? How can you find new markets and expand your business? And how can you add value to your enterprise?

These issues impact more than just your farm – they affect Missouri’s economy as a whole. Our state has more than 95,000 farms that cover two-thirds of its total land acreage. The total number of farms in Missouri is second only to Texas. However, of all states, the Show-Me State ranks 11th in cash receipts and 31st in average value per acre of cropland. That’s a lot of opportunity – and unmet potential.

In Missouri, agriculture is an $88 billion industry. But farmers and food producers can increase their profits and create value – and an infusion of capital can help. Loans, grants and tax credits can provide the funds you need. Don’t know where to start? MOSourceLink is here to help with a comprehensive list of business resources and opportunities for your agriculture business.

Loans for agribusiness

Agribusiness loans can provide the capital you need. This financing can help purchase land or equipment, cover operating costs, make improvements or get through tough times. A variety of loans are available, many through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Through the MDA, the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority authorizes these loans, which are designed to meet specific needs:

Animal Waste Treatment Loan

With this program, independent livestock and poultry producers can get loans at low interest rates. You can use the loan to finance 100% of an eligible animal waste treatment system. This includes structures, land, fencing, water treatment equipment and more.

Alternative Loan Program

These direct loans can fund the production, processing and marketing needs of alternative agricultural enterprises. Examples of these projects include organic production, bee-related projects, aquaculture and irrigation.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans

People who haven’t operated a farm or a ranch for more than 10 years are eligible for this loan. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency offers three types of loans:

  • Farm ownership loans, for use accessing land and capital
  • Operating loans, to pay normal farm or family living expenses
  • Microloans, to meet the needs of beginning farmers as well as non-traditional farm operations
Bridge Loan Program

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) provides these loans, which can be of up to $50,000. The funds are for producers who purchase, build or erect approved conservation plans.

Down Payment Loan Program

Producers can borrow to purchase land, machinery, livestock, trees or specialty crops. You can also use the funds to purchase, build or improve agribusiness buildings, livestock facilities or a processing facility. The loan can be up to 30% of the purchase price or $200,000, whichever is less. 

More loan options are available. Visit the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to learn about national programs.

FSA makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution or other lender.

FSA does require some borrowers to submit a business plan to be eligible for a loan. The Missouri Small Business Development Center can help with that.

USDA Rural Development partners with communities and cooperatives to fund projects that create strong rural economies and provide capital to local businesses. It also offers a number of direct business loan programs, such as the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

Loan guarantees for Missouri producers

These incentives encourage lenders to provide reasonable financing. The programs guarantee to repay the debt if the borrower defaults. The state of Missouri offers several loan guarantee programs:

Crop and Livestock Loan Guaranty Program

Designed for 4-H and FFA members, this program guarantees 50% of a loan made to finance a supervised project. Loans are limited to the purchase of livestock, feed, seed, fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, fuel and out-of-pocket expenses.

Missouri Agricultural and Energy Saving Team – A Revolutionary Opportunity (MAESTRO)

This loan loss reserve program encourages lenders to finance energy-efficient improvements on the farm and at home. Animal agriculture farmers who aren’t required to be permitted as a confined animal feeding operation are eligible.

Missouri Livestock Feed and Crop Input Loan Guarantee Program

If you need to finance livestock feed or crop input, this program can help. It provides up to a 50% first-loss guarantee on this financing. The loans must be made by eligible lenders and not exceed $100,000.

Missouri Value-Added Agriculture Loan Guarantee Program

This program provides a 50% first-loss guarantee. It covers agricultural business development loans. You can use this funding to acquire, construct, improve or rehabilitate agricultural property.

Single-Purpose Animal Facilities Loan Guarantee Program

MASBDA provides this 50% first-loss guarantee. It can apply to collateralized loans of up to $250,000. The loans can be made to livestock producers to finance land, facilities or equipment.

Grants for agribusiness

All entrepreneurs get excited about grants. After all, they’re funds that you don’t have to repay. For farmers and producers, these agribusiness grants can help make new programs, facilities and products a reality.

But be VERY careful when browsing for business grants online, as some advertisements promoting “Free money for your business” can be misleading; they’ll request a fee of a few hundred dollars and often only provide you with a list of microloans, which you must repay. We’ve listed loan opportunities above and vetted the grant opportunities below, which are offered by credible and official government sites:

Cover Crop Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Missouri landowners can get assistance planting cover crops. This cost-share program is available for soils classified as highly erodible. It’s also offered for soils that have organic matter content of less than 2% on 20,000 acres annually.

Farmers’ Market Promotion Matching Grant Program

The Missouri Department of Agriculture reimburses expenses related to marketing and promoting farmers’ markets. Projects should improve the community’s awareness of the market’s location, hours and products sold. Grants are up to $1,000 and must be matched dollar for dollar.

Food Desert Agriculture Matching Grant Program

Matching funds are available for projects that work to alleviate food insecurity. Programs must help areas that the USDA identifies as food deserts. These areas have low income, limited access to supermarkets and limited vehicle access.

Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant Program

This is a reimbursement of expenses associated with addressing food insecurity in urban areas. You can use funds to increase food production, the availability of food to residents or economic growth. Applicants must provide at least $0.25 to the project for each grant dollar.

Missouri Value-Added Agriculture “Farm to Table” Grant Program

Need help getting locally grown products for use in Missouri institutions? This grant can help. Funds can be used for items like freezers, packing equipment and professional services that can have economic impact for the agricultural industry.

Missouri Value-Added Grant Program

This program funds projects that add value to Missouri agricultural products and aid the economy of a rural community. Applications are considered for business concepts that both:

  • Lead to the development and marketing of new or expanded uses for agricultural products
  • Foster agricultural economic development in rural communities
Organic Certification Cost Share Program

This reimbursement is available to producers who get organic certification. The program applies to first certifications or expenses related to renewing a certification. The operation must be in Missouri. It must also comply with USDA National Organic Program regulations.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Projects must address research, food safety, education, marketing and pest and disease for the specialty crop industry. These grants typically go to universities, colleges and other research institutions.

Urban Agriculture Matching Grant Program

You can be reimbursed up to $7,500 for expenses related to urban farming. These projects can include introducing a new crop or product or expanding agricultural efforts. Training, equipment, business plan development and marketing are all eligible expenses.

Missouri agriculture tax credits

Sometimes, you can get a tax credit for agribusiness expenditures. These programs can help make tax time easier.

Agricultural Products Utilization Contributor Tax Credit Program

If you make a donation to MASBDA to assist rural agribusiness, you can apply for a tax credit. The credit is up to 100% of a contribution made by a person, partnership, trust or LLC. These credits are offered on a competitive basis.

Family Farm Breeding Livestock Tax Credit Program

MASBDA offers this credit to lenders who make breeding livestock loans to small farmers. The loan amount can’t exceed 90% of the cost of purchasing the livestock. The lender can’t charge interest for the first year of the qualified loan. The credit is 100% of the interest waived that first year.

Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit Program

This tax credit is 25% of the investment to modernize or expand a meat processing facility. The credit can’t exceed $75,000 and can be shared if two or more taxpayers own the facility.

New Generation Cooperative Incentive Tax Credit Program

MASBDA offers this credit for individuals who are members of organizations like co-ops. The group must own and operate a development facility or renewable fuel production facility in Missouri. The credit can be 50% of the member’s investment or $15,000 – whichever is less.

 

Get personalized agribusiness help

MOSourceLink is here to connect you with the organizations and programs to help your business thrive.

Our Resource Navigator is a comprehensive listing of more than 600 Missouri organizations. Search for the ones in your geographic area or area of need and explore others that can help across the state.

Meet one-on-one virtually with a Network Navigator. These experts take the time to learn about your business and your goals. Then, they lay out your custom step-by-step Personal Action Plan to get you where you want to go, based on what you need. Network Navigators can’t help you apply for specific loans or grants. However, they can direct you to the right program – and the right support.

Organizations that can help ag entrepreneurs

You don’t have to grow your business alone. These groups can help you find the resources to expand your agribusiness.

 

BioGenerator

BioGenerator supports individuals considering or seeking funding for plant or bioscience companies in the St. Louis metro region. We provide business and technical advice and support, early-stage capital, and access to shared lab space & equipment.

Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC) - University of Missouri

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC) provides legal assistance to take startups from concept to capitalization. Upper level law students work hands-on with businesses under the supervision of an experienced, licensed attorney.

Farm Service Agency

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers loans to help farmers and ranchers get the financing they need to start, expand or maintain a family farm.

FCS Financial

FCS Financial provides loans, leases and related services to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives.

Greater St. Louis Inc. Diverse Business Accelerator

The Greater St. Louis Inc. Diverse Business Accelerator is for ethnically, racially and gender-diverse business owners looking to advance their enterprise’s capacity to grow.

Helix Center Biotech Incubator

Helix Center Biotech Incubator located near the Danforth Plant Science Center offers 33,000-square-feet of office incubator space, wet and dry labs for early-stage plant and life sciences and bio technology companies.

Innovation Stockyard

The Innovation Stockyard operates the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator on the campus of Missouri Western State University with a focus on economic and workforce development, and animal health and nutrition.

Lewis & Clark AgriFood

As a late-stage, growth equity-focused fund, we arrive in the sweet spot between seed/early-stage and the buyout phase, minimizing risk and maximizing value. We work with exceptional entrepreneurs to help scale their business with capital and resources.

Macon Electric Cooperative

Macon Electric Cooperative creates and fosters economic development opportunities for the benefit of new and/or existing businesses, local communities and non-profit organizations. Macon Electric has access to funding sources to stimulate economic growth and development in its service area.

Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission

Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission provides a professional staff to serve as a resource for member governments, to provide a forum for local officials to discuss regional issues and concerns, and to promote community and economic development.

Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA)

The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority helps new and expanding agricultural producers finance their operations and add value to their products.

Missouri Department of Agriculture

The Missouri Department of Agriculture sets agriculture policy and provides assistance to farmers throughout the state, focusing on food related business.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources assists businesses with environmental compliance issues, primarily concerning air pollution control.

Missouri Linked Deposit Program-Missouri FIRST

The State Treasurer's Missouri Linked Deposit Program partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to help create and retain jobs, expand the economy, and strengthen communities statewide.

Missouri Linked Deposit Program-Missouri LIFT

The State Treasurer's Missouri Linked Deposit Program partners with lending institutions to provide low-interest loans to help create and retain jobs, expand the economy, and strengthen communities statewide.

Missouri SBDC - Kirksville

Missouri Small Business Development Center (MO SBDC) business specialists are uniquely qualified to help small businesses get started, develop and thrive.

Missouri SBDC at Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council

Missouri Small Business Development Center (MO SBDC) business specialists are uniquely qualified to help small businesses get started, develop and thrive.

Missouri SBDC at Lincoln University

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at Missouri Southern State University

Missouri Small Business Development Center (MO SBDC) business specialists are uniquely qualified to help small businesses get started, develop and thrive.

Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University - West Plains

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at Missouri University of Science and Technology

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at Southeast Missouri State University

Missouri Small Business Development Center (MO SBDC) business specialists are uniquely qualified to help small businesses get started, develop and thrive.

Missouri SBDC at State Fair Community College

The Missouri SBDC offers no-cost, personalized, and extensive business consulting and executive level coaching, from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at University of Missouri Columbia

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri SBDC at University of Missouri Kansas City

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success. The Small Business Development Center at UMKC offers one-on-one counseling and training through our ELEVATIONLAB™ track programs to business owners and emerging business owners.

Missouri SBDC in St. Louis

The Missouri SBDC offers personalized and extensive services from knowledgeable and helpful professionals focused on your business success.

Missouri Technology Corporation

MTC is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies through commercialization programs, innovation centers and innovating funding programs.

New Growth

New Growth works to cultivate a sustainable business community from deep roots, connecting neighbors with shared visions and resources, and bringing forth what locals love about West Central Missouri.

Prosperity Connection

Our mission is to promote economic success for everyone in the St. Louis region by providing financial education and access to reliable financial products and services.

SBDC for Northwest Missouri State University - St. Joseph Center

The SBDC offers confidential consulting to existing & emerging businesses. Fortune 500 resources & expertise are utilized with clients at no charge due to our funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration & Northwest Missouri State University.

Scale

Scale is an incubator with the characteristics of a high-growth accelerator fund that is introducing Founder-First Incubation. At Scale, we invest capital and time into the founder first and then build category-defining companies.

STL Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Accelerator - UMSL Accelerate

The STL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator Powered by UMSL Accelerate looks for the best and brightest, underrepresented entrepreneurs with creative solutions, technologies, and business models for improving inequities in the greater St. Louis region.

Technology Advancement Office

We partner with faculty, companies, entrepreneurs and investors to bring those innovations to market.

The Yield Lab

The Yield Lab is focused on bridging the gap between innovation and fruition of new AgTech by supporting early stage companies. We provide support for within the solid framework of organizations and businesses from the St. Louis area.

USDA - Rural Development

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