Future Brighter Future Fund Applicants - American Farmland Trust

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Future Applicants

2023 Applications Open July 1st

Applications are currently closed. They will open July 1st and will close on July 15th.

Applicant Eligibility

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. We focus 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.

Additional information that will be taken into consideration when making funding decisions include:

  • Priority for individuals who dedicate a majority of their worktime to farming or ranching;
  • Need-based consideration of projects;
  • Diversity in farms as determined by the dollar value of farm products sold, acres in farming and farm products grown, raised, or produced.

Farmers who previously received a Brighter Future Fund or The New England Farmer Microgrants Program grant are not eligible. However, those who applied but were not awarded funds during our previous Bright Future Fund grant cycles are encouraged to apply again.

Award Amount and Project Eligibility

Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000 per project. A project may involve one or more individual farmers or farm families. Only one grant can be awarded per farmer/farm family.

Funding for this program is limited. As funding remains, awards will be made on an ongoing basis to eligible applicants that fulfill all application requirements and meet selection criteria.

Land tenure (ownership, a lease, license, or other written agreement) for a reasonable time period will be required for projects that involve on-the-ground improvements to farmland. If tenure is less than five years, please be prepared to demonstrate in the application that the tenure is sufficient in relation to the improvements being made or services being provided.

Application Deadline and Instructions

Application Resources

Applications will be reviewed and awarded in the order the applications are received based on eligibility. AFT will continue to receive applications and make awards until available funds are expended. All services supported by the grant must be completed within one year of the date of the Letter of Award (extensions may be granted upon request but AFT encourages early spend-down). For grants funding long-range succession and transfer planning services, written statements showing progress/milestones may be requested.

AFT is committed to making the Brighter Future Fund accessible to the widest population possible and is pleased to be able to offer limited translation services for applicants. If interested, please email brighterfuture@farmland.org.

Award Notification Process

If approved for a grant, AFT will send electronic notification in the form of a Letter of Award to the applicant within 60 days of the application closing. The Letter of Award will detail the approved timeline and process for payment based on the individual project.


For general questions or requests for assistance, or if you need materials in Spanish, email brighterfuture@farmland.org.

Para preguntas generales o solicitudes de asistencia, o si necesita materiales en español, envíe un correo electrónico a brighterfuture@farmland.org.

For media inquires, contact Lori Sallet, director of media relations, at lsallet@farmland.org.