The application period is closed.

If you have questions regarding your application, please contact for assistance. Good luck to our 2023 applicants!

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Applicants must fit the following criteria:

  • Current Farm Credit customers and non-customers are eligible to apply
  • Must be 18 years of age or older as of July 31, 2023

How to Apply

To reference a sample of the online application, please click here

Fill out the application form and attach the following required documentation:

Please note that the application will NOT save your progress and it is recommended to have everything prepared, prior to hitting the submit button. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The 2023 application is closed.

How will Applications be Judged?

An independent panel of qualified judges, made up of industry representatives, will review all of the written applications and select up to 15 recipients.

Each application will be evaluated based on the following criteria to achieve a score out of 100 possible points:

Written Application 
Personal Background Essay10 points
Business Development Essay10 points
Financial Character Essay10 points
Business Plan 
Business Overview15 points
Business Management and Organization15 points
Marketing Strategy15 points
Financials 15 points
Overall Application 
Spelling and Grammar10 points
Total100 points



Do I need to live in Horizon Farm Credit's territory to be eligible?

Yes. Click here to check your eligibility.

How do I know if I qualify to apply for the JumpStart Grant Program?

Eligible applicants must be a beginning farmer with two years or less experience or planning to start farming in the next two years and reside in Horizon Farm Credit’s territory. If you are a beginning farmer returning to a family operation, you must be starting a new venture or enterprise to be considered a startup farmer. Startup farmers may be full or part-time farmers. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, as of July 31, 2023. 

How many awards will be presented?

Up to 15 $10,000 awards.

Are there any restrictions for use of the grant funds?

Grant funds must be used for agriculture purposes to support your farm business within two years of receiving the grant. Fund use examples include tractors, equipment, livestock and farm operating expenses. You may also use funds for startup services including business planning, legal fees or other startup costs.

Grant recipients will be required to complete a grant acceptance agreement upon receiving the grant, indicating that they will use the funds appropriately.

What's involved in Ag Biz Basics?

Ag Biz Basics is the online learning series that is required as part of the grant application. The program includes four modules that take approximately 30-60 minutes each to complete.

Ag Biz Basics is FREE to grant applicants. Farm Credit will track completions in cooperation with Farm Credit University which offers the course.

Ag Biz Basics contains four learning modules:

  1. Side by Side with your Lender - Financial Documentation, Planning & Goal Setting
  2.  Do you Cash Flow? Cash Flow Planning - putting your production plan in numbers
  3. What are you Worth Financially? Business and Personal Balance Sheets
  4. Did you make a Profit? Income Statement

If you have questions regarding your Ag Biz Basics registration status, please contact

Are the funds taxable?

Yes, the grant money is taxable. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact our JumpStart Grant Program Administrator, Johanna Rohrer at or 888.339.3334.

What should be included in your business plan?

Horizon Farm Credit has a business plan template that you may use. You may use another business plan format if you prefer. Business plans must include the following details:

  • Business Overview: Objective, Description, Target Audience, Mission Statement
  • Business Management and Organization: History, Organization, Strengths & Weaknesses, Implementation Timeline, Goals, Risk Management
  • Marketing Strategy: Industry Outlook, Market Share, Income, Marketing
  • Financials: Balance Sheet or Projections
I previously completed Ag Biz Masters. Do I still need to complete Ag Biz Basics?

No, if you fully graduated from the two-year Ag Biz Masters program, the Ag Biz Basics requirement is waived for your grant application. However, if you only partially completed Ag Biz Masters, you are required to complete Ag Biz Basics to be eligible for the grant. 

For proof of graduation, please contact

How do I register for Ag Biz Basics?

Ag Biz Basics free registration has closed along with the 2023 JumpStart application. Check back in 2024 for instructions on how to register or reach out to

Is there anyone not eligible to apply?

Officers, Directors, and employees of the Sponsor, Horizon Farm Credit, and their subsidiaries, affiliates, their agents, press/media representatives, and the immediate family members of these entities are not eligible to enter. Family is defined as an individual and spouse and anyone having the following relationship to either: parents, spouse, son, daughter, sibling, stepparent, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, and the spouse of the foregoing and/or those living in the same household of each, whether or not related, and are not eligible to enter.

Who will judge and evaluate my application?

An independent panel of qualified judges, made up of industry representatives, will review all applications.

Can I apply as a single applicant? Can I apply as a co-applicant?

Yes, you can apply as a single applicant or you can apply with a business partner. The application should only reflect those efforts of the named applicants.

Are past winners eligible to apply?

Past JumpStart Grant and Farmers on the Rise Award winners are not eligible to apply.

When will winners be notified?

Winners will be notified in early September and invited to a ceremony on September 13, 2023.