Eco Bio and Agricultural Grants
Many USDA grants are administered under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA is tasked with helping improve agriculture productivity, creating new products, protecting animal and plant health, promoting human health and nutrition, and maintaining the vitality of rural American communities.
Under NIFA, the USDA provides three kinds of funding opportunities: formula-funded grants, competitive grants, and line-item grants. NIFA is not involved with issues like gardening, home canning, and lawn care. If you need assistance with these matters, contact your local county or regional extension office.
Due to rising energy costs, one of the fastest growing grant programs is a grant related to biofuels and bio-based products. The goal of this program is to promote biofuel usage with the development of new technologies to increase industrial product production from agricultural products.
This grant is classified under Small Business Innovation Research and is available to small business owners that are for profit. The total funding currently available is $18,300,000 and the awards range from $70,000 to $100,000.
Rural Development Grants
The goal of the Rural Development program is to assist in the development of new technologies and help with critical problems that affect people living in rural America. The program focuses less on agricultural concerns than environmental enhancement, service delivery, disaster resilience, and workplace skills.
This program is classified under Small Business Innovation Research and is available to small business owners that are for profit. The total program funding available is $18,000,000 and awards range from $60,000 to $100,000.
Water Sustainability and Climate
This program seeks to study and predict the behavior of climate change and water systems, managed forests, ecosystem function, and land use. This is accomplished through research and the use of computer models.
The total program funding for this program is estimated to be $5,000,000 and awards range from $600,000 to $4,000,000. The complex eligibility rules for this program is beyond the scope of this article but can be determined by contacting the USDA.
Animal Production and Protection
The program has the goal of developing new technologies to increase the production and protection of agricultural animals. New technologies to rapidly detect, treat, and prevent diseases are required to raise productivity and increase the bio-security of flocks and herds. Improved technologies are also required to trace animals throughout the food supply chain. New technologies also protect against food-borne illnesses being transmitted.
Total program funding for the Animal Production and Protection grant program is an estimated $19,000,000. Grants range in amounts from $70,000 to $100,000. Small business owners are eligible for this program. Rural Development Grant Assistance
Assistance from this program is offered in several ways, like grants, direct or guaranteed loans, research and educational materials, and technical assistance.
Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Grants
The goal of this grant program is to provide grants to low-income homeowners for the improvement, repair, and modernization of their living quarters. It is also for the removal of safety and health hazards.
These grants are eligible for those who are homeowners and over 61 years of age and who are unable to repay a loan under Section 504. The grants are to be used only to make a home more sanitary, safe, or for the removal of safety and health hazards.
Grants under the program are available in amounts up to $7,500. If the home is sold in under three years, the grant may be reclaimed. A combination of loans and grants is also available up to the amount of $27,500.