Matched Savings Program

Groundswell Center’s Agriculture IDA Program

Eight farm business utilized the Ag-IDA Matched Savings Program in 2019. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure funding to continue this program so the Ag-IDA program is not available at this time. We will send an announcement in our Newsletter if this program re-opens.


What is the Groundswell Center Agriculture IDA?

IDA stands for Individual Development Account. IDA is special Matched Savings Account designed to assist individuals with low to moderate income on the path toward asset ownership through matched savings and financial education.

Participants in the Groundswell Ag-IDA Matched Savings Program may save toward the following asset goals:

  • Start-up or expansion of a farm or agriculture business

Groundswell is offering a 3:1 match for your savings from $250 to $1,000 over 7 – 13 months. This means that if you save $250, Groundswell will match that with $750, and you will have $1,000 in your account. If you save $1000, Groundswell will match that with $3000, for a total of $4000 in your account. (This is the maximum match.)

To be eligible to participate, applicants must:

  • Be a socially disadvantaged aspiring or existing farmer as defined by the USDA which includes, but is not limited to, Black, African American, Native American, Alaskan Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander, and may include immigrants and refugees.
  • Fall within specific limited income guidelines
  • Meet education requirements (see below)
  • Live in Cortland, Seneca, Schuyler, or Tompkins County

Education Requirements

  • Complete Groundswell Center Farm Business Planning Course or AFCU’s Money Wise or Money Smart Course
  • Demonstrate basic agricultural interest and knowledge
  • Complete a 30-minute pre-application screening with Groundswell’s Farm Business Coordinator
  • Once enrolled in Savings Program, attend a One on One Consultation with Business CENTS representative
  • Complete Mini Business Plan before spending funding

For Details & To Apply: Please read the  Groundswell IDA Program Manual.

Once you’ve read the manual, if you would like to apply, click the "Contact Us" by clicking the button below.


The Ag-IDA Program is made possible through our partnership with Alternatives Federal Credit Union and funding from USDA Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement 2501 Grant Program.


Contact us to arrange language interpretation services for this program


Questions About the Ag IDA?