Every day you confront new information, problems and costs that must be dealt with in a positive way to continue your prosperity. As you try to dig through the piles of paper work, it probably seems like nothing is simple anymore. In many ways, you are right. For most of us, our parents did their own taxes, managed pesticides and fertilizers without documentation, and never filled out 150-page applications to get a grant from the USDA. In the world we live in today, accountants and advisors are available to assist us which can save us from headaches
A common solution in farming, as in other growing businesses, is to build a team. Team members are not there to tell you what to do, but to help you reach the goals you have set on the path you have chosen. One great example of where teamwork helps is in applying for government grants. Each year the USDA awards millions of dollars to farmers and ranchers like you, who have ideas on ways to save energy and be better stewards of the land. The fact is that the vast majority of this money is awarded to firms that hire a team of professionals to help with grant writing and assessment. One grant program for farmers pays up to 25% of the cost of improvements to either reduce energy (projects like new grain dryers, improved irrigation systems, insulation of building or animal housing) or to start new renewable energy projects to use your biomass or to harness the energy of the sun for heating or generating electricity.
Well over 90% of the money awarded goes to people working with a team. Individuals attempting to write this grant by themselves typical spend over 120 hours and are less likely to win because they have not received feedback on hundreds of similar applications. The USDA reviewers of these grants typically have specific things they are looking for and require it in a way they are familiar with. An experienced grant-writing team can typically get you through the process with less than 6 hours of your time and at a cost of about 2% of the total project. Grant awards to applicants are typically anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000.
Several applicants have hired Energy Improvement Matters (EIM, LLC), a highly successful grant-writing firm to assist with the grant advising and grant-writing process. EIM encourages you to think beyond your gate when trying to decide how to tackle some of the big problems in you organization. The EIM team is ready to help with 9 people dedicated to grant writing and empowering you to reach your goals.