How to get NRCS Grants: Save Money and Improve your Farm

Here are six steps to get NRCS grants for your poultry farm.
saving money on your farm applying for NRCS grants

The government wants to save resources. You want to save money. Here's how to put the two together with an NRCS grant.



Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

The USDA NRCS, or Natural Resources Conservation Service, supports farmers who implement conservation measures with grant money.

The NRCS helps farmers pay for improvements to their farm that save resources. New farmers (people who have been farming for fewer than ten years) can get up to 90% of these costs covered. People who have been farming for over ten years can still get up to 75% covered.

As far as poultry farms go, there seem to be two main areas of interest for the NRCS: waste and energy. Waste usually has to do with managing mortality and composting on your farm. Energy has to do with electricity and heat, including insulation and lighting types.

When you're preparing to make an improvement to your farm, consider applying for an NRCS grant. This way, you can save some money and save some resources! Read on to learn how to take advantage of this program.

How to Get an NRCS Grant

While the entire grant process is quite complicated, here are the six main steps you need to take to get an NRCS grant.

1. Register with the FSA

FSA stands for Farm Service Agency. Find your local USDA Service Center and register with the FSA. You need to be registered with the FSA in order to be eligible for a grant.

2. Fill Out an Application

While you're at your USDA Service Center, fill out the NRCS application, too. 

3. Get an Audit

Once you've registered with the FSA and filled out the NRCS application, you're ready for an audit. Audits are also necessary to receive grants. Audits can be expensive, around $3—4K. You can choose to pay for it yourself or get the NRCS to pay for it. The NRCS will pay for 75% of the audit, but it could take them around a year to get it completed and processed. If you need the audit done faster, you can opt to pay for it yourself.

4. Get Approved

The next step is getting your project approved. The more you can conserve in one project, the more money the NRCS will be willing to give you. This means that projects that save resources in multiple ways (think: updating insulation and installing LED lighting fixtures) are more likely to get approved and get maximum coverage. You will go into a pool of applicants, and hopefully get approved!

5. Start Construction

Upon approval, you will sign a contract to agree on what you'll do in your project and by when you'll have it done. You do have to use a state licensed contractor to do the job, but you can choose who it is. The NRCS engineers will give you specs that the contractor will have to follow.

6. Get your money!

Once the work is done, you will be eligible for your payment. Note that you do have to carry out the work as outlined in your contract, or the NRCS may not pay.

What about integrators?

We understand that your integrator has a big impact on what you can and cannot do on your farm. Luckily, almost every integrator encourages the same type of projects that the NRCS promotes. This means that if the NRCS will support a project, it's very likely your integrator will, too.


If you have any questions for us, please reach out to Allen Reynolds at or by calling 800-608-3755.

We also encourage you to do your own research so you can be as informed as possible on how to save money on farm improvements. You can check out the NRCS YouTube channel,, and the NRCS website for helpful information on getting grants for your poultry farm.

About the Author

Izy Dobbins

Isabella (Izy) Dobbins

Marketing Manager

This was written by Isabella (Izy) Dobbins, Southland Organics' Marketing Manager. Izy has devoted her education and career to communicating science-related topics. With an enthusiasm for sharing accurate and honest content relating to science and agriculture, she ensures Southland Organics' publications are as informative as they are interesting. Izy graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in advertising, minors in both Spanish and environmental health science and a Certificate in Sustainability. She has been working at Southland Organics since 2021.

Learn more about Izy Dobbins

Allen Reynolds

Poultry Sales Manager

This was edited by Allen Reynolds, Southland Organics’ Poultry Sales Manager. Allen spent years working on poultry farms, from installing equipment to dumping chicks. He has been helping poultry farmers overcome obstacles since 2014, focusing on poultry farm strength in the antibiotic-free environment since 2017. He has traveled thousands of miles and worked closely with hundreds of farmers during his time with Southland Organics. Allen is known by even more farmers from the YouTube channel Poultry Biosecurity, where he regularly appears in videos that educate farmers on topics like bird health and farm business.

Learn more about Allen Reynolds

Allen Reynolds
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