Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches          and CommunitiesFederal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Conser...
AcknowledgmentsThe Building Sustainable Places guide is a collaborative publication of several U.S. Department of Agricult...
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments.............................................................................................
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) ....................................................................................
IntroductionThis guide is written for anyone seeking help from           Please conduct Internet searches to obtain update...
and livestock enterprises; from the technical challenges   embellished existing ones to support energy productionor certif...
•   What is your principal strategy to resolve that prob-       http://12.46.245.173/cfda/cfda.html    lem?               ...
applicants who typically get funded, average fund-   Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need    ing amounts, an...
Programs by CategoryThis list shows one way to think about categories of program offerings. Although, in the interest of s...
Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)...........................................................................................
Agricultural Water                 Enhancement Program (AWEP)      Promoting ground and surface water conservation or wate...
•   Assist producers in meeting a regulatory require-    ment;•   Include the conversion of agricultural land from ir-    ...
Agriculture and Food                      Research Initiative (AFRI)Providing grants that address key problems of national...
Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsThe eligibility for AFRI programs is linked to the pro-gram of interest. Non-integrated...
ATTRA - National Sustainable             Agriculture Information Service    Providing free technical information to produc...
ContactPeople involved in commercial agriculture in the Unit-ed States may request information by calling (800)346-9140 fr...
Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged        Farmer Contract Land Sales Providing federal loan guarantees to retiring farme...
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual    Development Account (BFRIDA)         Helping beginning farmers and ranchers fin...
Beginning Farmer and Rancher              Development Program (BFRDP)           Funding education, extension, outreach and...
Biobased Markets Program                         (BioPreferred)    Establishing a process to determine criteria for Federa...
Bioenergy Program for                            Advanced Biofuels   Providing incentive payments for the production of fu...
Biomass Crop Assistance Program                      (BCAP)Providing financial assistance to producers or entities that de...
2) The volume of renewable biomass projected to be         Website   available from sources other than the eligible crops ...
Biomass Research and Development                  (BR&DI)    Supporting research, development, and demonstrations on cost-...
The program expected to award up to $20 million infunds in FY 2009, $28 million in FY 2010, $30 millionin FY 2011, and $40...
Business and Industrial             Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I)          Guaranteeing loans by commercial local lenders ...
Maximum repayment terms are 7 years for working               Website Informationcapital, 15 years (or useful life) for ma...
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
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Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
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Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities

  1. 1. Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and CommunitiesFederal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Conservation and Community Development A publication of U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies working together for sustainable places in collaboration with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Authors Margaret Krome, Teresa Maurer, and Katie Wied USDA agencies and programs providing major support for this publication: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) U.S. Forest Service National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) October, 2009 If English is not your first language, support for your use of this Guide is available in Spanish, Lao and French by calling 1 (800) 346-9140.
  2. 2. AcknowledgmentsThe Building Sustainable Places guide is a collaborative publication of several U.S. Department of Agriculture agen-cies, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Manyprogram descriptions in this Guide were built on the excellent profiles of the National Sustainable AgricultureCoalition’s publication, the Grassroots Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill, which were used with permission.The project has been coordinated and edited by Margaret Krome, Teresa Maurer, and Katie Wied, with majorcontributions from John English, Gini Knight, Kim Kroll, Susan LeVan, Patricia McAleer, Robyn Metzger, GregTaylor, and Steve Yaddow, and staff with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Website design andmaintenance as well as distribution of hard copies of this Guide are conducted by the Appropriate TechnologyTransfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.USDA agencies and programs providing support for this publication include the Sustainable Agriculture Researchand Education Program (SARE) program, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture(NIFA, formerly Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service). Building Sustainable Places Guide
  3. 3. Table of ContentsAcknowledgments.................................................................................................................................................. iiTable of Contents ..................................................................................................................................................iiiIntroduction............................................................................................................................................................ vPrograms by Category........................................................................................................................................... ixAgricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) ............................................................................................. 1Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) ................................................................................................. 3ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service .......................................................................... 5Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Contract Land Sales ................................................................... 7Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account (BFRIDA)..................................................... 8Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)........................................................................ 9Biobased Markets Program (BioPreferred) ......................................................................................................... 10Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels ......................................................................................................... 11Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) ........................................................................................................ 12Biomass Research and Development (BR&DI) .................................................................................................. 14Business and Industrial Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I) .................................................................................. 16Certified Development Company Program (504 CDC under SBA).................................................................... 18Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program .................................................................................... 20Community Wood Energy Program..................................................................................................................... 22Conservation Loan and Loan Guarantee Program............................................................................................... 23Conservation Innovation Grant Program (CIG) .................................................................................................. 24Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) ................................................................................................................ 26Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).......................................................................................................... 29Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) .................................................................................... 31Cooperative Extension System (CES) ................................................................................................................. 33Direct Farm Ownership and Operating Loans ..................................................................................................... 34Downpayment Farm Ownership Loan Program .................................................................................................. 36Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) ............................................................................................ 37Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) ........................................................................................... 39WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) ............................................................................................. 41Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) .................................................................................................... 43Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) .................................................................................. 44Forest Biomass for Energy (FBE)........................................................................................................................ 46Forest Legacy Program (FLP) ............................................................................................................................. 47Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) ....................................................................................................................... 48Forest Stewardship Program (FSP)...................................................................................................................... 49Building Sustainable Places Guide Page iii
  4. 4. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) ........................................................................................................ 50Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) ..................................................................................................................... 51Guaranteed Farm Ownership and Operating Loans............................................................................................. 53Integrated Organic and Water Quality Program (IOWP)..................................................................................... 55Intermediary Relending Loan Program (IRP)...................................................................................................... 57Loans for Socially Disadvantaged Persons.......................................................................................................... 59Local Food Enterprise Loans ............................................................................................................................... 61Microloan Program .............................................................................................................................................. 62National Organic Program (NOP)........................................................................................................................ 63Organic Certification Cost Share (NOCCSP) ...................................................................................................... 64Organic Conversion Assistance ........................................................................................................................... 65Organic Research & Extension Initiative (OREI)................................................................................................ 66Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) ................................. 67Partners for Fish and Wildlife .............................................................................................................................. 68Regional Integrated Pest Management Program.................................................................................................. 70Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDC)................................................................................................... 72Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) .......................................................................................... 74Risk Management Education Program (RME) .................................................................................................... 76Risk Management Partnership Agreements (RMA) ............................................................................................ 78Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) .......................................................................................................... 80Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) ...................................................................................................... 81Rural Collaborative Investment Program (RCIP)................................................................................................ 82Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG).................................................................................. 83Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) ....................................................................................................... 84Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative.............................................................................................................. 86Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) ...................................................................................... 87Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) ........................................................................................ 89Small Business Innovative Research Program (SBIR)........................................................................................ 90Small Farm Program ............................................................................................................................................ 92Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) .................................................................................................... 93Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) .......................................................................................................... 95Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE).................................................................... 96Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF) ............................................................................................. 99Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) ............................................................................................................. 101Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).................................................................................................................... 103Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) ................................................................................................... 105Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) ............................................................................................... 107Page iv Building Sustainable Places Guide
  5. 5. IntroductionThis guide is written for anyone seeking help from Please conduct Internet searches to obtain updates andfederal programs to foster sustainable and innovative applications for programs.initiatives in this country associated with agricultureand forestry. Sustainability is commonly understood to How is the guide organized?embrace the triple concepts of economic, environmen- There are two ways to identify programs that can helptal and social viability. Specifically, the guide provides you:information about program resources pertaining tonatural resources conservation and management; sus- • The A - Z Table of Contents lists federal programstainable and organic farming practices; value added and as they appear alphabetically in the directory.marketing innovations, nutrition and consumer food • The list of categories of grants shows one way toaccess; economic development for farms, small busi- think about program offerings. Note that some pro-nesses and urban and rural communities; and renew- grams fall within several of the categories although,able energy and energy conservation. in the interest of simplicity, we only list them once.The guide can help farmers, entrepreneurs, community Readers may need to explore programs listed with-developers, private landowners, conservationists, and in several categories to be sure of having found allmany other individuals, as well as private and public programs pertinent to their interest.organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit. The What kinds of initiatives do programs described inguide describes program resources ranging from grants this guide support?and loans to technical assistance and information re-sources. Natural Resources Conservation and Management – Increasing numbers of farmers, foresters, and otherThe guide can also help USDA and other agency em- landowners seek to adopt resource management prac-ployees become aware and take better advantage of tices that protect soil, air, water and wildlife on theirthe enormous array of federal programs and resources land in an economically viable way. This guide de-available to their clients in supporting sustainable in- scribes several programs offering landowners help innovations in agriculture and forestry. This edition con- getting financial and technical support for a wide rangestitutes the guide’s fifth printing and third complete up- of resource management strategies.date, incorporating programs from the 2008 Farm Bill. Strategies include sustainable forestry practices; inten-How can the guide help you? sive rotational grazing of livestock; soil conservationWe hope to introduce you to programs that can be use- structures; organic or biodynamic farming systems; In-ful to your work, including some you might not oth- tegrated Pest Management (IPM); diversified crops anderwise have thought to pursue. Along with a general crop rotations; farmland protection, wetland and otheroverview of each program, the guide explains the as- habitat restoration; riparian buffers, and many othersistance the program offers and its purposes, as well as practices. This guide includes numerous programsrestrictions on that assistance. When possible, we give that help landowners get information, funding, techni-specific examples of how the program has actually been cal assistance and other resources to support such landused to support such work. management changes and some that help community groups collaborate in this work.This guide includes programs that have existed foryears as well as some that are newly authorized in the Sustainable Farming Practices – As farmers and2008 Farm Bill. A survey to stakeholder groups helped ranchers move toward more environmentally sound,us identify key programs to include, but undoubtedly profitable and socially responsible production practic-some relevant programs escaped our attention. Further, es, they may need information, technical assistance, oralthough the program descriptions are accurate as of other help. Programs exist to assist them with a widethis printing, aspects of some programs will change. range of issues, from weed management to new cropsBuilding Sustainable Places Guide Page v
  6. 6. and livestock enterprises; from the technical challenges embellished existing ones to support energy productionor certification costs of making the transition to organic on farms and ranches, including biomass productionproduction to understanding economic thresholds of in- and processing, wind turbines, manure digesters, so-tegrated pest management for a particular pest; from lar panels, and geothermal. Some programs help buildtillage to managed grazing. Several programs offer community infrastructure that supports renewable ener-outreach, research, or community assistance, and the gy or conservation. Others target individual landown-2008 Farm Bill included new provisions to focus par- ers or producers who see entrepreneurial opportunitiesticular assistance on underserved or beginning farmers to create energy or want to reduce the energy cost ofand ranchers. their farms or ranches. Whether from the perspective of conservation, production or processing, agricultureMarketing and Value-added Innovations – Many en- has become a focus point for the nation’s energy andtrepreneurs seek to add value to agricultural and for- climate change policies, and this is reflected in the pro-estry resources. Because earnings in extractive indus- grams described in this guide.tries (for example, agricultural production and timberharvesting) are generally low and highly volatile, many What are successful strategies for obtaining re-communities seek to build economic and environmen- sources to support your work in building sustain-tal sustainability by adding value to natural resources able places?through processing, packaging, marketing, distributingthe products themselves, or by producing their goods This guide lists numerous programs that can help ad-with methods that gain market premiums. vance innovations in sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation, and community devel-Creating value-added jobs can improve the diversity opment. Following some sensible and logical steps willof a local economy, increase local incomes, capture help increase your chances of targeting programs forhigher profits locally, and use local natural resources your needs and writing successful proposals.more efficiently and sustainably. This guide describesprograms offering financial, technical, marketing, and What are the hallmarks of a well conceived project?other assistance for such enterprises. A successful federally funded project — whether a re-Nutrition and Consumer Food Access – The nation’s search proposal, conservation plan, marketing or otherstruggle to address the health, fiscal and social implica- proposal — is no different from any other good proj-tions of obesity has brought a renewed awareness of ect. It has tightly defined purposes; a clear strategy tothe importance of affordable, culturally appropriate, accomplish them on a realistic timeline; the necessarysafe and nutritious food, including fresh fruits and veg- people, money, and other resources; a basis for evaluat-etables. Many families and some communities, in both ing the process when done; and an effective means ofurban and rural areas, lack access to such food; impedi- communicating results.ments may be poverty, community isolation, lack of Many projects are improved by a thoughtful effort toeducation about nutrition, or other factors. Remedies build supporting coalitions. A funder will look favor-range from creating market linkages between local ably on, and may require, local matches of funding. Re-producers and consumers to more systemic efforts to member that funding matches usually can also come inaddress underlying poverty in a community. Localities the form of existing staff salaries and other “in-kind”can use this guide to identify forms of federal economic contributions, as well as actual dollars.and technical assistance most appropriate to their needs. In designing a good project, be sure that you have in-Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation – Fluc- cluded the right people in the planning process itself.tuating fuel prices, concerns about climate change, and Every participant should not only care about the idea,the growing awareness of the human and other costs but also be prepared to contribute to its execution. Someof our nation’s depending on energy sources from po- questions to consider in developing your proposal in-litically unstable regions have catapulted renewable clude the following:energy and energy conservation into the national spot-light. The 2008 Farm Bill created new programs and • What problem do you seek to address?Page vi Building Sustainable Places Guide
  7. 7. • What is your principal strategy to resolve that prob- http://12.46.245.173/cfda/cfda.html lem? • The Federal Register, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/• Why is this strategy better than other approaches you might consider? • A site for federal grants in all agencies, http://www. grants.gov• Have other people, locally or otherwise, addressed this problem? If so, what have you learned from • The Foundation Center, http://www.fdncenter.org their work, and how does your effort relate to theirs? (subscription required)• Who else might be concerned about your issues? • Building Sustainable Places, http://attra.ncat.org/ Should they be involved in your project? guide/.• What is a realistic timeline for action? • Grassroots Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill, http:// sustainableagriculturecoalition.org/publications/• What resources do you need to implement your grassrootsguide/ project? What resources can you use for a non-fed- eral match? Many other private and public resources at the state and local levels are not covered in this guide. Contact your• Would others profit from knowing about your ini- State Department of Agriculture, State Forester, State tiative? If so, how do you plan to get the word out? Rural Development Office, local Extension Office, lo- cal conservation office and Resource Conservation and• How will you measure and evaluate your project’s Development (RC&D) coordinator to explore those outcomes? possibilities. Also, asking yourself who might have aHow can you identify potential federal programs? stake in the outcomes of your work might suggest ad- ditional potential funding sources.Once you have a good idea of what your project shouldlook like and what resources it requires, it is time to How can you decide which programs are most ap-explore federal programs and figure out what programs, propriate for your needs?if any, can help you achieve your goals. Besides this Identifying programs in this guide and from otherguide, there are many ways to locate resources poten- sources whose purposes and available resources suittially useful to you. Ask colleagues doing similar work your objectives is an art form. Instead of wasting yourabout who has funded their work, and make use of refer- time chasing programs that have incompatible goals, aence sections in larger public libraries, most university little methodical research will help you assess how wellmain libraries, and the development office of any large your project fits within various programs.university. These reference sites often have many use-ful directories, some dealing with private sources and You may want to talk with program staff, people previ-others with federal ones. Many references are available ously funded, or organizations that have worked with aon the Internet. program to decide whether there is a fit and if so, how to argue for it. It comes down to asking good questionsJust a few sources include the following: the National and thinking strategically. For example:Directory of Corporate Giving; Directory of ResearchGrants; Funding Sources for Community and Econom- • What are the program’s stated mission and objec-ic Development; Government Assistance Almanac; tives? What projects has it funded or collaboratedGovernment Giveaways for Entrepreneurs; Guide to with in the past? Is the form of assistance appro-Federal Funding for Governments and Nonprofits; and priate to your needs? (Think creatively about yourthe Guide to Federal Funding for Education. project’s needs. The problems for which you seek help from federal resources are likely complex, andMany resources are available on the Internet, in- often more than one type of assistance may contrib-cluding: ute to their solution.)• The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, • What are the program’s funding pool, percentage ofBuilding Sustainable Places Guide Page vii
  8. 8. applicants who typically get funded, average fund- Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need ing amounts, and duration of program grants? – you’ll need it! Many applications processes are com- plex, and even simple ones require time to work out• What are eligibility requirements, financial match matching contributions, get letters of support, share requirements, and restrictions on a program’s use? your proposal with partners and readjust your text ac- Is funding available up front or (more typically) on cordingly. Increasingly, federal grants are submitted a reimbursement basis? electronically. Although a visit to www.grants.gov will• Are deadlines for applying and the timeframe for explain the process, some extra steps are required that funding appropriate to your project timeline? Does take time. Be sure you submit the proposal in plenty of the program fund multiyear projects? Do past grant- time (a day or two in advance) if submitting it electroni- ees feel that a program’s reporting requirements are cally, as lines sometimes back up for electronic submis- reasonable and the program well administered? sion.What are some tips for submitting successful appli- Finally, but very importantly – do not be discouraged!cations? Many successfully funded grants and applications for federal resources are the result of earlier failed attempts.Once you have designed a good project, prepare it for Understanding why your earlier efforts were rejected issubmission to any program to which you’re applying likely to help in future ones. Be sure to ask.so that it stands the greatest chance of being approved.Read the Request for Proposals (sometimes called Getting a copy of the guideNotice of Funding Availability or other titles) severaltimes, even though it’s in small print! Carefully follow To obtain a free copy of this guide, please contactdirections explained in the RFP, including any format ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculturerequirements. Information Service, at P.O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702, 1 (800) 346-9140, fax (406) 494-2905, orIdentify the central points you want to make, including e-mail debbier@ncat.org.how your proposal addresses a program’s key goals. Beprecise and accurate; do not be tempted to exaggerate Workshops on using the guidethe need or over promise results. Use clear, concise lan- The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI)guage to make your application or proposal readable. It offers workshops to help use this guide. Theis smart to have your application reviewed by someone workshops cover how to envision and design soundwhose editing skills you trust. Is it clear? Readable? projects; identify programs offering resources; andGrammatically correct? maximize your chances of submitting successfulPay close attention to formatting, deadline, nonfederal proposals. www.michaelfieldsaginst.orgmonetary match and other stated requirements. Be surethat your budget is accurate, clear, and is accompanied For more information, contact Margaret Krome,by a budget narrative to clarify any points you think MFAI Policy Program Director, at (608) 238-1440;could be misunderstood by reviewers. And, of course, mkrome@sbcglobal.netdo not be daunted by having to readjust your proposalfor each program to which you submit it.Make sure you understand the review process. Is itbased on a review by only a few people, or will thereview be more comprehensive? If the contact personmakes funding decisions, get to know their preferences.Call program staff if you have questions about the ap-plication process. Of course, always be pleasant in dis-cussing your project.Page viii Building Sustainable Places Guide
  9. 9. Programs by CategoryThis list shows one way to think about categories of program offerings. Although, in the interest of simplicity,we only list them once here, some programs are pertinent to several kinds of topics. For example, although theSustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is listed under Organic and Sustainable Farm-ing Practices, it has also funded grants pertaining to conservation, value-added and marketing, economic develop-ment, and renewable energy initiatives. Readers should explore programs listed within several categories to besure of having found all programs pertinent to their interest.Natural Resources Conservation and ManagementAgricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) .............................................................................................1Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) .................................................................................................................26Conservation Innovation Grant Program (CIG) ...................................................................................................24Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)...........................................................................................................29Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) .....................................................................................31Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) .............................................................................................37Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) ............................................................................................39Forest Legacy Program .........................................................................................................................................47Forest Products Lab ..............................................................................................................................................48Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program.....................................................................................99Forest Stewardship Program .................................................................................................................................49Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) ......................................................................................................................51Partners for Fish and Wildlife ...............................................................................................................................68Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) .............................................................................................74Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).....................................................................................................................103Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) ....................................................................................................105Wood Education Resource Center (WERC) .......................................................................................................107Organic and Sustainable Farming PracticesAgriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) ..................................................................................................3Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA).................................................................................5Cooperative Extension Systems (CES).................................................................................................................33Integrated Organic and Water Quality Program (IOWP)......................................................................................55National Organic Program ....................................................................................................................................63Organic Certification Cost-Share Program ...........................................................................................................64Organic Conversion Program (Subset of EQIP) ...................................................................................................65Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)...........................................................................66Regional Integrated Pest Management Program...................................................................................................70Risk Management Partnership Agreements (RMA) .............................................................................................78Specialty Crop Block Grants Program..................................................................................................................93Specialty Crop Research Initiative........................................................................................................................95Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) ...................................................................................96Value Added and Marketing InnovationsFarmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) .....................................................................................................43Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) ...................................................................................44Building Sustainable Places Guide Page ix
  10. 10. Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)...............................................................................................................101Nutrition and Consumer Food AccessCommunity Food Projects Competitive Grants Program .....................................................................................20Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).......................................................................................................41Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program (FVPP)...........................................................................................................50Local and Regional Food Enterprise Guaranteed Loans ......................................................................................61Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) .........................................................................................89WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) ..............................................................................................41Economic Development for Farms, Small Businesses and CommunitiesBeginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Contract Land Sales ....................................................................7Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts (BFRIDA) ....................................................8Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).........................................................................9Business and Industrial Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I) ...................................................................................16Certified Development Company Program (SMA program) ................................................................................18Conservation Loan and Loan Guarantee Program................................................................................................23Direct Farm Ownership and Operating Loans ......................................................................................................34Downpayment Farm Ownership Loan Program ...................................................................................................36Guaranteed Farm Ownership and Operating Loans..............................................................................................53Intermediary Relending Loan Program (IRP )......................................................................................................57Loans for Socially Disadvantaged Persons (SDA) ...............................................................................................59Microloan Program ...............................................................................................................................................62Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grants ..........................................67Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDC)....................................................................................................72Risk Management Education Program (RME) .....................................................................................................76Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) ...........................................................................................................80Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) .......................................................................................................81Rural Collaborative Investment Program (RCIP).................................................................................................82Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG)..................................................................................83Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) .......................................................................................87Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR).........................................................................................90Small Farm Program .............................................................................................................................................92Renewable Energy and Energy ConservationBiobased Market Program ....................................................................................................................................10Bioenergy Program for Advance Biofuels ............................................................................................................ 11Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) .........................................................................................................12Biomass Research and Development Initiative ....................................................................................................14Community Wood Energy Program......................................................................................................................22Forest Biomass for Energy....................................................................................................................................46Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) ........................................................................................................84Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiate..................................................................................................................86Page x Building Sustainable Places Guide
  11. 11. Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) Promoting ground and surface water conservation or water quality improvement on agricultural landsProgram Basics help achieve water quality or water conservation benefits on agricultural land.The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)is a voluntary conservation program under the Envi- Application and Financial Informationronmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). UnderAWEP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service An agricultural producer may apply directly to NRCS(NRCS) enters into partnership agreements with eli- for financial or technical assistance to implement agri-gible entities that want to promote ground and surface cultural water enhancement activities in an approvedwater conservation or improve water quality on agricul- AWEP project area. Producers who apply directly totural lands. The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated NRCS must be eligible for EQIP, and selected applica-the authority for AWEP to the NRCS Chief. As part of tions will be subject to applicable EQIP requirements.EQIP, the AWEP program operates through contracts AWEP project proposals submitted by eligible entitieswith producers to plan and implement conservation are ranked competitively and must include the follow-practices in project areas established through partner- ing:ship agreements. • Description of the geographic area to be covered byLegislative Changes the agreement;The 2008 Farm Bill established AWEP, replacing the • Description of the agricultural water quality or wa-Ground and Surface Water Conservation Program. ter conservation issues to be covered by the agree-AWEP’s purposes – to promote ground and surface ment;water conservation and improve water quality – are • Description of agricultural water enhancement ob-achieved by having producers implement agricultural jectives to be achieved through the partnership;water enhancement activities. These include: • Description of the partners collaborating to achieve• Water quality or water conservation plan develop- the project objectives, as well as the roles, responsi- ment, including resource condition assessment and bilities, and capabilities of each partner; and modeling; • Description of the program resources required for• Water conservation restoration or enhancement the project. projects, including conversion to the production of less water-intensive agricultural commodities or In evaluating an application, NRCS may give higher dryland farming; priority to proposals that:• Water quality or quantity restoration or enhance- • Include a high percentage of agricultural land and ment projects; producers in a region or area;• Irrigation system improvement or irrigation effi- • Result in high levels of applied agricultural water ciency enhancement; quality and water conservation activities;• Activities designed to mitigate the effects of • Significantly enhance agricultural activity; drought; and • Allow for monitoring and evaluation;• Other related activities deemed by the Secretary toBuilding Sustainable Places Guide Page 1
  12. 12. • Assist producers in meeting a regulatory require- ment;• Include the conversion of agricultural land from ir- rigated farming to dryland farming; and• Leverage federal funds with those provided by the potential partner.Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsEntities that are eligible to enter into AWEP partner-ship agreements include, but are not limited to, fed-erally recognized Indian Tribes, States, units of localgovernment, agricultural or silvicultural associations,or other groups of such producers, such as an irrigationassociations, agricultural land trusts, or other nongov-ernmental organizations with experience working withagricultural producers.Website InformationFor more information and updates about AWEP andother Farm Bill topics, refer to the NRCS website at:http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2008/NRCS AWEP program website at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep/Contact InformationMark S. ParsonUSDA NRCSEQIP Program Specialist1400 Independence Ave. SW Room 5227Washington, DC 20250Phone: 202-720-1840Fax: 202-720-4265mark.parson@wdc.usda.govPage 2 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  13. 13. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)Providing grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agricultureProgram Basics F) Agriculture economics and rural communities.The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Please see the AFRI Request for Application (RFA) onis the core competitive grants program offered by the the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)USDA. The purpose of AFRI is to fund grants that ad- website at www.csrees.usda.gov/ for individual pro-dress key problems of national, regional, and multi-state gram descriptions.importance in sustaining all components of agriculture,including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, Project Examplesrenewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforest- AFRI is a new competitive grant program under Sec-ry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneur- tion 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Actship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and of 2008 (FCEA) (Pub. L. 110-246) (i.e., the 2008 Farmconventional breeding. AFRI also supports coordina- Bill).tion opportunities to build on the discoveries from theadvancement of fundamental sciences in support of ag- Application and Financial Informationriculture. Therefore, efforts in education and extension Each year the AFRI Request for Application (RFA) isthat deliver science-based knowledge to people, allow- published on the National Institute of Food and Agri-ing them to make informed practical decisions are also culture (NIFA) website at www.nifa.usda.gov/. Pro-a priority. posal guidelines and submission deadlines are outlinedAFRI programs offer a wide array of award types for FY in the RFA. All applications must be submitted via2009, including: non-integrated grants (Research only Grants.gov.projects, Education only projects, and Extension only Congress passed funding for AFRI in FY10 at $262projects); integrated grants that include two or more of million. However, there is no commitment by USDAthe following in one project: research, education, and to fund any particular application or to make a specificextension; conference grants; and Food and Agricultur- number of awards. For FY09, USDA committed thatal Science Enhancement (FASE) grants including post- no less than 30 percent of appropriated funds would bedoctoral grants, new investigator grants, and strength- made available to fund programs that integrate research,ening grants (standard strengthening grants, sabbatical education and extension. Of the AFRI funds allocatedgrants, equipment grants, and seed grants). to research activities, 60 percent were to be directedSpecific programs within AFRI are offered in the toward grants for fundamental (or basic) research andfollowing areas: 40 percent toward applied research. Of the AFRI funds allocated to fundamental research, not less than 30 per-A) Plant health and production and plant products; cent of AFRI grants were to be directed toward researchB) Animal health and production and animal products; by multidisciplinary teams. It was anticipated that no less than 10 percent of the funds would be made avail-C) Food safety, nutrition, and health; able for Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Awards and no more than two percent of fundsD) Renewable energy, natural resources, and environ- for fundamental research be made available for Equip- ment; ment Grants. AFRI funds may be used to support appli-E) Agriculture systems and technology; and cations submitted to supplementary AFRI RFAs and/or solicitations for multi-agency programs in which AFRI is participating.Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 3
  14. 14. Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsThe eligibility for AFRI programs is linked to the pro-gram of interest. Non-integrated grants are eligible tostate agricultural experiment stations, colleges, univer-sities, university research foundations, other researchinstitutions and organizations, federal agencies, nation-al laboratories, private organizations or corporations,and individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or per-manent residents. Integrated programs’ eligibility arerestricted to colleges and universities, 1994 Land-GrantInstitutions, Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges anduniversities, and research foundations maintained by acollege or university. Please see the RFA for the eligi-bility for FASE grants.For information about uses and restrictions also see theRFA.Websitehttp://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/afri/afri.htmlContactDr. Mark Poth, Research DirectorCompetitive ProgramsUSDA-NIFAPhone: (202) 401-5244mpoth@nifa.usda.govPage 4 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  15. 15. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Providing free technical information to producers and information providers on a wide variety of sustainable farming topicsProgram Basics agriculture program specialists will research the ques- tion, summarize findings in writing, and compile sup-ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Infor- porting literature as appropriate to accompany themation Service, provides information to those engaged report, which a caller receives by mail. Publicationsin or serving commercial agriculture, such as farmers, based on frequently requested topics are also available.ranchers, extension agents, farm organizations, and ATTRA provides more than 300 topic-specific publica-farm-based businesses. Clients can call in requests on tions on its website, covering a wide variety of topicsa toll-free telephone line, use the website that features related to organic and sustainable agriculture.regular updates, and learn about workshops featuringtechnical presentations by staff. ATTRA also provides a free weekly electronic newslet- ter on national events and advances in sustainable agri-ATTRA offers a wide variety of information on sus- culture. A bimonthly newsletter on a specific sustain-tainable agriculture, from horticultural and agronomic able agriculture topic is also available. Both of thesecrops to livestock and farming systems. ATTRA’s ser- newsletters may be subscribed to at no charge via thevices seek to help U.S. farmers increase profitability ATTRA website (www.attra.ncat.org).and provide more healthful food for consumers whilebecoming better stewards of the natural resources and Financial Informationenvironment of America’s farmlands. Funding for fiscal year 2010 is $2.8 million throughATTRA’s agriculture program specialists respond to re- USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Thisquests from callers on how to: funding supports the informational and educational work of more than 30 staff assigned to the ATTRA• Improve farm income with a diversity of crops and program. The program is managed by the nonprofit livestock National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT),• Reduce dependence on costly off-farm inputs which has offices in Montana, Arkansas, California, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. NCAT’s organizational web-• Assess new marketing methods site is www.ncat.org• Produce alternative crops and livestock Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions• Institute organic farming practices ATTRA provides technical assistance and information to anyone involved in U.S. commercial agriculture.• Incorporate value-added and farm-processed prod- This includes farmers, ranchers, extension agents, farm ucts organizations, farm-based businesses, information pro-• Improve soil fertility and water quality viders, and others who serve farmers. All of ATTRA’s publications and multimedia information (including• Rejuvenate rural America through agricultural en- webinar and radio broadcasts) are available for free terprises download to anyone with internet access.Information Available WebsiteATTRA specializes in responding to questions about www.attra.ncat.orgspecific sustainable enterprises or practices. ATTRABuilding Sustainable Places Guide Page 5
  16. 16. ContactPeople involved in commercial agriculture in the Unit-ed States may request information by calling (800)346-9140 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Central Time) Mondaythrough Friday, or by visiting the ATTRA website. ASpanish-language helpline is also available at 800-411-3222.Page 6 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  17. 17. Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Contract Land Sales Providing federal loan guarantees to retiring farmers who self-finance the sale of their land to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchersProgram Basics the farm may have sharply declined between the time the contract was entered and any default by the buyer.The Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer andRancher Contract Land Sales Program provides federal Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictionsloan guarantees to retiring farmers who self-financethe sale of their land to beginning or socially disadvan- To be eligible for a loan guarantee, the buyer of thetaged farmers and ranchers. The program is designed farm or ranch must: 1) be a beginning or socially dis-to encourage private land contract sales by providing a advantaged farmer or rancher; 2) have an acceptabledegree of protection to the retiring farmer whose retire- credit history demonstrated by satisfactory debt repay-ment savings is often in the land and farm. It provides ment; 3) be the owner or operator of the farm or ranchthe seller with a federal guarantee much like that avail- when the contract is complete; and 4) be unable to ob-able to commercial banks and other lenders. tain sufficient credit elsewhere without a guarantee to finance actual needs at reasonable rates or terms.The program is structured to provide the seller of thefarm or ranch two options: Website1) A “prompt payment” guarantee that covers three This program is administered by the Farm Serviceamortized annual installments or an amount equaling Agency of USDA. www.fsa.usda.govthree amortized annual installments; or For information and applications, go to your FSA re-2) A standard asset guarantee plan that covers an gional Service Centers or to your state FSA office.amount equal to 90 percent of the outstanding principle http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/of the loan provided that the seller obtains a servicing app?state=us&agency=fsaagent. Contact InformationFor either option, the loan guarantee stays in effect for Bob Bonnet10 years. The purchase price or appraisal value of the Guaranteed Loan Branch Chieffarm or ranch that is the subject of the contract sale can- Farm Service Agencynot be greater than $500,000. . The buyer of the farm bob.bonnet@usda.govand ranch must contribute at least 5 percent as the down 202-720-3889payment for the land.Under the prompt payment guarantee, if the new farm-er/buyer does not pay an annual installment due on thecontract, or pays only part of an installment, USDA’sFarm Service Agency provides the scheduled paymentor the unpaid portion to the seller through an escrowagent after the seller unsuccessfully attempts collec-tion. In that circumstance, the buyer would then tryto restructure the debt through an approved repaymentplan.Under the asset guarantee, the seller is protecting him-self or herself against the possibility that the value ofBuilding Sustainable Places Guide Page 7
  18. 18. Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account (BFRIDA) Helping beginning farmers and ranchers finance their agricultural endeavorsProgram Basics responsible for providing access to business and finan- cial education.The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual De-velopment Accounts (BFRIDA) Pilot Program is de- Application and Financial Informationsigned to help beginning farmers and ranchers of lim-ited means finance their agricultural endeavors through The organization or collaboration will establish a re-business and financial education and matched savings serve fund made up of the total amount of the IDA grantaccounts. The program is modeled after the more ur- awarded to them (up to $250,000) and a non-federalban-based Individual Development Account program, match of 50 percent of that total amount awarded. Theadministered by the Department of Health and Human grantees can use up to 10 percent of the federal grantServices, that focuses primarily on home purchase or amount (up to $25,000) to support business assistance,business development. The new Beginning Farmer and financial education, account management, and generalRancher IDAs, administered by USDA, will promote program operation costs. The local, non-federal matcha new generation of farmers and ranchers by assisting may be used for program expenses without limit. Inter-those of modest means to establish a pattern of savings. est accrued on the federal grant award can be used forUltimately, the savings can be used as part of a down matched savings or for program costs.payment on farmland or to purchase breeding stock, Once a participating organization establishes a Begin-farm equipment, or other productive assets. ning Farmer or Rancher IDA project, an eligible begin-The 2008 Farm Bill directs USDA to establish pilot ning farmer or rancher can set up an account with theprojects in at least 15 states. The states have not been participating organization and deposit a certain amountselected yet, but future editions of this Guide will pro- that is “matched” by that organization at a rate of atvide that information when it becomes available. Se- least 100 percent and up to 200 percent. For instance,lection of the IDA organization or agency within a state if a farmer participant deposits $100 a month into thewill be chosen on a competitive basis. individual development account, the organization’s IDA program will match them at 1:1 or 2:1 or up toEligibility, Uses, and Restrictions $200 a month. After the two-year program period, up to $7,200 would be available for the farmer to put to-Eligible beginning farmer or ranchers are those who do wards the assets he or she has been saving for. Up tonot have significant financial resources or assets and $3,000 of an individual’s savings can be matched perhave an income less than 80 percent of the median in- year, so at the 2:1 rate that means there can be a total ofcome of the state in which they live, or 200 percent of $9,000 in annual leveraged savings.the most recent annual Federal Poverty Income guide-lines published by the Department of Health and Hu- Websiteman Services. An eligible beginning farmer or ranchermust also agree to complete a financial training pro- www.fsa.usda.govgram and create a savings account. Contact InformationAny non-profit organizations or tribe or local or state Mike Hintongovernment can submit an application to USDA to re- Direct Loan Branch Chiefceive a grant. Non-profits could also team with agen- Farm Service Agencycies to run a pilot program. The selected groups will mike.hinton@usda.govboth establish and administer the IDAs and are also 202-720-1472Page 8 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  19. 19. Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Funding education, extension, outreach and technical assistance initiativesProgram Basics immigrant, and women farmers and ranchers, as well as farmworkers desiring to become farmers in their ownThe Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Pro- right.gram (BFRDP) is a competitive grant program admin-istered by the National Institute of Food and Agricul- Application and Financial Informationture (NIFA) that funds education, extension, outreach,and technical assistance initiatives directed at helping BFRDP grants have a term of 3 years and cannot ex-beginning farmers and ranchers of all types. ceed $250,000 a year. Eligible recipients can receive consecutive grants and must provide a cash or in-kindWhile the BFRDP was first authorized in the 2002 contribution match that is equal to 25 percent of theFarm Bill, it never received funding during the annual grant funds provided. Projects funded can serve farm-appropriations process. With the 2008 Farm Bill, the ers who are not beginning farmers, provided that theBFRDP now has mandatory funding to operate as an primary purpose of the project is fostering beginningannual competitive grant program. farmer opportunities.The BFRDP is targeted especially to collaborative local, Websitestate, and regionally based networks and partnershipsto support financial and entrepreneurial training, men- http://www.nifa.usda.gov/beginningfarmerandrancher.toring, and apprenticeship programs, as well as “land cfmlink” programs that connect retiring with new farmers, http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/bfrdp/bfrdp.htmlinnovative farm transfer and transition practices, andeducation, outreach, and curriculum development ac- Contact Informationtivities to assist beginning farmers and ranchers. Top- S. Sureshwaranics may also include production practices, conservation USDA- NIFAplanning, risk management education, diversification ssureshwaran@nifa.usda.govand marketing strategies, environmental compliance, 202-720-7536credit management, and so on.Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsApplicants for the BFRDP must be collaborative state,tribal, local, or regionally-based networks or partner-ships of public and private groups. Networks or part-nerships may include: community-based organizations,non-governmental organizations; cooperative exten-sion; relevant USDA and state agencies; and commu-nity colleges. These networks or partnerships in turnuse the BFRDP funding to provide the training and as-sistance to beginning farmers and ranchers.The BFRDP sets aside 25 percent of the yearly fundsfor projects serving limited resource and socially dis-advantaged farmers and ranchers, including minority,Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 9
  20. 20. Biobased Markets Program (BioPreferred) Establishing a process to determine criteria for Federal purchase of biobased productsProgram Basics The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) provided $1 million for FY 2008 and will provide $2 millionAuthorized under section 9002 of the 2008 Farm Bill, annually for FY2009-12 for testing and labeling of bio-the BioPreferred Program (formerly the Federal Bio- based products. An additional $2 million may be pro-based Procurement Program) establishes a process for vided annually for FY 2010-12.determining eligibility criteria for Federal purchase ofbiobased products. Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsThe BioPreferred Program requires every Federal Biobased products, according to the Secretary of Ag-agency to give a procurement preference to designat- riculture, are commercial or industrial products (othered items composed of biobased products unless those than food or feed) composed in whole or large part ofitems (1) are not reasonably available, (2) do not per- renewable domestic agricultural or forestry materials,form adequately, or (3) are not reasonably priced. or an intermediate ingredient or feedstock including plant, animal, and marine materials. The program nowUSDA’s goal is to increase Federal procurement of adds heating oil as an excluded category.biobased products government-wide and develop gov-ernment and the public markets through a voluntary USDA has developed a series of BioPreferred tools,labeling program. USDA tests and evaluates biobased such as model contract language, to assist Federal agen-products and designates items for preferred federal pro- cies and the business community in the implementationcurement. of the program. Most of these tools are available at the BioPreferred website (http://www.biopreferred.gov).Through published regulations, USDA has designateda total of 33 biobased items or product categories rep- USDA is also in the process of developing a labelingresenting nearly 3,000 individual products. program for the general public to encourage use of the products beyond Federal government procurement.Biobased products include cleaners, lubricants, build-ing materials, insulation, roof coatings, fuel additives, Websiteand a host of other sustainable industrial materialsmade from agricultural commodities that the Federal http://www.biopreferred.govgovernment can use. Investigation is under way to de- Contact Informationvelop additional rules for Federal agency procurement. Ron Buckhalt, Manager, BioPreferred ProgramApplication and Financial Information Phone: (202) 205-4008As of this printing, the USDA is currently in the pro- Ronb.buckhalt@da.usda.govcess of collecting biobased product information. Thisinformation aids in the creation of designations for theprocurement of biobased products by the federal gov-ernment. Products may only be listed in the catalogonce their designations have been finalized. You mayregister your company with the BioPreferred programand then submit products to be listed in the BiobasedProducts Catalog found on the BioPreferred website.Page 10 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  21. 21. Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels Providing incentive payments for the production of fuel derived from renewable biomassProgram Basics Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsAuthorized under section 9005 of the 2008 Farm Bill, Eligible producers entering into a contract are paidthe Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels re-titles, based on the quantity and quality of advanced biofuelrenews, and extends the program formerly known as production and on the net nonrenewable energy con-the Bioenergy Program. This program provides incen- tent of the advanced biofuel. Payment amount will de-tive payments to ethanol and biodiesel producers on an pend on the number of producers participating in theincremental basis to increase production. Biofuel pro- program, the amount of advanced biofuels being pro-ducers entering into a contract with USDA are reim- duced, and the amount of funds available.bursed based on quantity, duration and net nonrenew-able energy content. WebsiteProject Examples http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RBS/BUSP/ 9005Biofuels.htmThe Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels is ad-ministered by the USDA’s Rural Business and Coop- Contact Informationerative Service, Energy Division. As of this printing, Office of Business Programsguidelines to implement the program are pending. 1400 Independence Ave. SWOne project example might be: Mail Stop 3225 Washington, DC 20250-3225Production of biofuels such as biodiesel, butanol, bio-gas or other alcohols from feedstocks such as cellulose, William Smithhemicellulose, lignin, crop residues, vegetative waste, Phone: 202.205.0903animal waste, food waste, yard waste, vegetable oil, or Email: William.Smith@wdc.usda.govanimal fat. Chris CassidyApplication and Financial Information Phone: 202.720.6819The 2008 Farm Bill has directed the USDA Secretary Email: Chris.Cassidy@wdc.usda.govto establish criteria and guidelines for the submission,evaluation, and funding of proposed projects under thisprogram. Guidelines to implement the program werepending as of this printing.The program will provide payments to eligible ad-vanced biofuel producers to support and ensure an ex-panding production. The bill provides $55 million inFY 2009 and 2010, $85 million in FY 2011, and $105million in FY 2012. An additional authorization of dis-cretionary funds in the amount of $25 million per yearmay be available from FY 2009 to 2012. No more thanfive percent of funds made available annually may goto facilities with a total refining capacity of more than150 million gallons per year.Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 11
  22. 22. Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)Providing financial assistance to producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilitiesProgram Basics collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material to a biomass conversion facilityAuthorized under Section 9011 of the 2008 Farm Bill, from BCAP contract acreage and other sources.the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) is de-signed to: Although the program is not required to disburse a specified annual amount, the law authorizes USDA(1) support the establishment and production of eligi- to use, from CCC funds, “sums as are necessary” to ble crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected successfully implement BCAP. The White House Of- BCAP project areas; and fice of Management and Budget in consultation with(2) assist agricultural and forest land owners and op- USDA will decide funding apportionments based upon erators with collection, harvest, storage, and trans- demand for the program, administration priorities, and portation of eligible material for use in a biomass other considerations. conversion facility. Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsProject Examples Biomass production must occur on either agriculturalThe Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently working land or non-industrial private forest land and excludesto develop and implement the Biomass Crop Assistance Federal and State owned land, Conservation ReserveProgram. FSA is preparing an environmental impact Program, and similar land protection programs and na-study. After this impact study is drafted, FSA plans to tive sod.publish more specific program provisions as regula- BCAP project areas are selected based on:tions for BCAP in the Federal Register. Although exactdates are not available for this rulemaking, FSA hopes • A description of the eligible land and eligible cropsto implement BCAP in time for the 2010 crop year. of each producer that will participate in the pro- posed BCAP project area;Application and Financial Information • A letter of commitment from a biomass conver-BCAP is a Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) pro- sion facility that the facility will use eligible cropsgram administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) intended to be produced in the proposed BCAPwith the support of other federal and local agencies. Po- project area;tential project sponsors apply for selection as BiomassCrop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas. • Evidence that the biomass conversion facility has sufficient equity available if the facility is not op-The 2008 Farm Bill authorizes 3 types of payments erational at the time the project area proposal isunder BCAP: submitted;• Establishment payments for up to 75% of cost of • Other appropriate information. establishing an eligible biomass crop for BCAP contract acreage. BCAP project area selection criteria include the follow- ing nine factors:• Annual payments to support production for BCAP contract acreage. 1. The volume of the eligible crops proposed to be produced in the proposed BCAP project area and• Collection, harvest, storage, and transportation the probability that such crops will be used for (CHST) payments of up to $45/ton for 2 years for BCAP purposes;Page 12 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  23. 23. 2) The volume of renewable biomass projected to be Website available from sources other than the eligible crops grown on contract acres; http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&su bject=ener&topic=bcap3) The anticipated economic impact in the proposed BCAP project area; Contact Information4) The opportunity for producers and local investors Paul Harte, USDA/FSA/CEPD-KC to participate in the ownership of the biomass con- Phone: (816) 926-6014 version facility in the proposed BCAP project area; Paul.harte@kcc.usda.gov5) The participation rate by beginning or socially dis- advantaged farmers or ranchers;6) The impact on soil, water, and related resources;7) The variety in biomass production approaches within a project area, including agronomic condi- tions, harvest and postharvest practices, and mono- culture and polyculture crop mixes;8) The range of eligible crops among project areas; and9) Any other additional information determined nec- essary by the Secretary of Agriculture.Contract terms are up to 5 years for annual and peren-nial crops and up to 15 years for woody biomass crops.USDA will determine whether project proposals meetthe minimum threshold for selection based on criteriain the statute and rank proposals based on the nine gen-eral criteria listed above.Eligible biomass crops do not include those crops eli-gible for commodity payments under Title I of the 2008Farm Bill, invasive or noxious plants, animal waste andbyproducts, food and yard waste, or algae.Conservation Plans or Forest Stewardship Plans mustbe adhered to by BCAP participants, who also must bein compliance with the highly erodible and wetlandscompliance provisions of the Food Security Act of1985, as amended.USDA had not yet published the Federal Rules to im-plement the program by the time this directory waspublished. Additional uses of CCC funds for this pro-gram are currently unknown.Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 13
  24. 24. Biomass Research and Development (BR&DI) Supporting research, development, and demonstrations on cost-effective ways to produce alternative fuels and chemicals from biomass resourcesProgram Basics • The University of Florida was funded to address genetic engineering of sugarcane for increased fer-Authorized under section 9008 of the 2008 Farm Bill, mentable sugar yield from hemicellulosic biomassthe Biomass Research and Development Initiative in Florida.(BR&DI) extends the program originally created un-der the Biomass Research and Development Act of Application and Financial Information2000 and amended by the Energy Policy Act (EPAct)of 2005. The Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Re- search, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)This program provides competitive grants, contracts, and the DOE Office of Biomass Programs competitive-and financial assistance to eligible entities to carry out ly award Biomass Research and Development Initia-research, development, and demonstration of biofuels tive (BR&DI) grants to eligible entities to research, de-and biobased products, and the methods, practices and velop, and demonstrate biomass projects. As amendedtechnologies for their production. by the 2008 Farm Bill, the three main Technical Areas are: (1) Feedstocks Development, (2) Biofuels & Bio-Project Examples based Products Development, and (3) Biofuels Devel- opment Analysis. This is a joint solicitation, and DOESelected projects for the 2007 fiscal year were in four is managing the pre-application process.technical areas as mandated by EPAct 2005: feedstock All eligible applications are evaluated in a joint USDA/production, technological development, product diver- DOE technical merit review process, in addition to re-sification, and technology analysis. (See BR&DI for views by each agency based on cost and programmaticspecific technical area descriptions.) priorities. Only those applicants that have submitted a• Texas Engineering Experimental Station was pre-application and received notification from the DOE funded to demonstrate the commercial feasibility inviting them to submit a full application will be al- of anaerobic fermentation of biomass for the pro- lowed to submit a full application. duction of carboxylate salts and their conversion to Applicants must clearly demonstrate the value chain keytones. element they intend to focus on and specify whether• Washington State University was funded to provide the project is conducting research or a demonstration. product diversification strategies for a new genera- The value chain can be characterized as consisting of tion of biofuels and bio-products. the following elements: feedstock development and growth; feedstock harvesting and preparation; feed-• Rutgers University was funded to develop a U.S. stock logistics and transportation; feedstock storage native grass breeding consortium to identify re- and handling; biomass pre-processing (as appropriate); gional optimum biomass productivity on marginal biomass conversion; production of biofuels/bioenergy/ lands and switchgrass performance in specific U.S. biobased products; product logistics and handling; and regions. product delivery and distribution.• Agrivida, Inc. was funded to study altered plant All projects should be planned and implemented in ac- compositions for improved biofuel production. cordance with a life cycle point of view such that both This will include analysis of rice straw, sorghum, direct and indirect environmental and economic im- and switchgrass performance in specific U.S. pacts are considered. regions.Page 14 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  25. 25. The program expected to award up to $20 million infunds in FY 2009, $28 million in FY 2010, $30 millionin FY 2011, and $40 million in FY 2012. An additionalfunding authorization of $35 million per year from FY2009 through 2012 may become available for continu-ation of the program.Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsEligible applicants include institutions of higher learn-ing, national laboratories, federal research agencies,private sector entities, nonprofit organizations, or con-sortia of two or more entities. Grants are awarded com-petitively based on technical merit and program priori-ties identified in the solicitation package. This solicita-tion requires a 20 percent minimum non-federal shareof the total project cost.Websitehttp://www.brdisolutions.comContact InformationTJ HeibelDepartment of EnergyPhone: (410) 997-7778 ext. 223theibel@bcs-hq.com.Carmela BaileyUSDA- CSREESPhone: (202) 401-6443cbailey@csrees.usda.gov.Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 15
  26. 26. Business and Industrial Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I) Guaranteeing loans by commercial local lenders to businesses in rural areasProgram Basics • In Georgia, a B&I guaranteed loan and a section 9006 guaranteed loan were used to finance theThe Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan construction of a wood pellet manufacturing plantprogram guarantees loans by commercial local lend- designed to generate 19.8 tons per hour of high en-ers to businesses in rural areas. By guaranteeing loans ergy content, demystified (moisture removed) bio-against a portion (up to a maximum of 90 percent) of mass pellets. The plant will be an integrated pro-loss resulting from borrower default, the B&I Guaran- ducer of densified biomass pellets. The plant willteed Loan program is meant to expand the available convert waste wood into pellets including wood re-credit for businesses. B&I guarantees can result in a ceiving and storage, a green wood dryer heated by anumber of benefits to such businesses. wood waste furnace, size reduction, pellet press andThe loan guarantee may be used for business and indus- cooling, dust-collection, pellet storage and trucktrial acquisitions, construction, conversion, expansion, loading equipment. This project created 18 jobs.repair, modernization or developmentcosts; purchase Application and Financial Informationof equipment, machinery or supplies; startup costs andworking capital; processing and marketing facilities; As is the case with Small Business Administrationpollution control and abatement; and refinancing for loan guarantees, the business must first find a bank orviable projects, under certain conditions. lending institution willing to extend a loan subject to a guarantee. The bank then makes a joint applicationProject Examples with the borrower to the USDA state or district RuralExamples of projects that have been funded include: Development office. The state office generally has loan approval authority.• In Indiana, a loan was made to a manufacturer of auto parts used in transmissions and drive trains Applications for loan guarantees exceeding a state’s by the major auto manufacturers. This loan was loan approval authority are submitted to the national used for the refinancing of debt and purchase of office. They are available throughout the year and are machinery and equipment. It created 24 jobs and accepted on an ongoing basis. Loan guarantees are to saved 116 jobs. be approved within 60 days subject to the availability of funds. Pre-application reviews and advice are also• In Illinois, B&I loan funds were used to construct available through state offices. an assisted living facility and to provide working capital. The facility will have 78 units and will cre- The maximum aggregate B&I guaranteed loan amount ate 58 new jobs for the local community. is $10 million to any one borrower, although the Agen- cy Administrator can grant up to $25 million. The Sec-• In Louisiana, a guaranteed loan was used to refi- retary may approve guaranteed loans in excess of $25 nance existing debt and construct a hospital. The million, up to $40 million, for rural cooperative orga- facility, a one-story structure, will grow to 32,485 nizations that process value-added agricultural com- square feet after expansion. It currently has 44 acute modities. For loans of $2 million or less, the maximum care beds. After the expansion, it will also include portion of guarantee is 90 percent; for loans over $2 a geriatric-psychiatric unit with 12 beds. Twenty- million but not over $5 million, the maximum is 80 per- five new jobs will be created and 93 jobs saved as a cent; and for loans in excess of $5 million, the maxi- result of this loan. mum is 70 percent.Page 16 Building Sustainable Places Guide
  27. 27. Maximum repayment terms are 7 years for working Website Informationcapital, 15 years (or useful life) for machinery andequipment, and 30 years for real estate. Collateral must http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/b&i_gar.htmbe sufficient to protect the interests of the lender and Contact Informationthe government and usually include personal and/orcorporate guarantees. Carolyn Parker, Division Director National Program OfficeA minimum of 10 percent tangible balance sheet equity Business and Industry Divisionis required for existing businesses, and 20 percent for USDA, Rural Business-Cooperative Servicenew businesses. Feasibility studies may be required. 1400 Independence Ave, SWThe interest rate is negotiated between the lender and Washington, DC 20250-0700borrower and may be fixed or variable. The lender ad- Phone: (202) 690-4103dresses the business adequacy of equity, cash flow, col- Fax: (202) 720-6003lateral, history, management, and the current status ofthe industry in a written credit analysis. Lenders areexpected to service, and if necessary, liquidate loans,with USDA’s Rural Development’s concurrence.Eligibility, Uses, and RestrictionsB&I loans can be guaranteed in rural areas outside ofcities with a population of 50,000 or more and in theimmediately adjacent urbanized area. Priority is givento applications for loans in rural communities of 25,000or less.Any legal entity—including individuals, public or pri-vate organizations, and federally recognized Indiantribal groups—may borrow funds. Charitable, religiousor fraternal institutions or organizations cannot bor-row money. Local economic development organiza-tions and investors can also be considered. There is nosize restriction on the business. Inability to obtain othercredit is not a requirement.Authorized lenders include federal or state charteredbanks, credit unions, insurance companies, savings andloan associations, the Farm Credit Bank, other FarmCredit System institutions with direct lending author-ity, and nontraditional lenders approved on an individ-ual lender basis.Building Sustainable Places Guide Page 17

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