How many acres do you have to have to be considered a small farm? How do I go about getting grants and other help to start a small farm business?
Grayson County Kentucky
In order to receive a farm serial number from the FSA (Farm Service Agency) you must own 10 acres or more of land. Under Kentucky State law you must also file an Ag Water Quality Plan with your NRCS office. It is a simple questionnaire that asks if you use certain best management practices in your farming operation, to ensure that you are doing your part to protect the waters of the Commonwealth.
When you have acquired your farm serial number, you will then be eligible to partake of cost share programs through the USDA, NRCS, and possibly CAIP (County Agriculture Improvement Program). Each organization has specific requirements to receive cost share funding for various types of programs, i.e. fencing, on farm water development, composting, etc.
You may also contact KCARD. They are a non-profit organization in Kentucky that aids in business plan development, grant writing seminars, and support for small farm businesses.
Also give your local county extension agent a call and they should be able to provide you with specific information for your location.
From Jack Ewing:
The previous answer is appropriate, but also $250 income is an IRS criteria for being considered a small farm entity and that can be done with out the above info being met. for example, a greenhouse on less than an acre.