2008 USDA Farm Bill
On May 22, 2008, Congress overrode the President's veto of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the "Farm Bill"). The Farm Bill is an investment in our nation's food and farm economy. It will ensure food security and promote healthier foods and local food networks, strengthen international food aid and reform commodity and farm programs, protect our natural resources and promote homegrown renewable energy.
The Farm Bill has historically addressed not only farm regulations, but also food security and protection of environmental resources. As our country seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, our ranchers and farmers will continue to be vital players in the development and growth of renewable energy resources. Biofuels, wind energy, solar power and ethanol production are all addressed in the new Farm Bill 2008.
There are a total of 14 titles in the Farm Bill ranging from commodity programs to research to energy to insurance to nutrition. Renewable energy, specifically wind generated energy, is mainly addressed by 4 titles: Conservation, Rural Development, Research, and Energy.
Similar to the previous Value-Added Produce Grants and 9006 Programs, the 2008 Farm Bill will offer both grants and guaranteed loans for eligible projects under the Renewable Energy for America Program, or REAP. The USDA Rural Development website has information on applying and guidance documents for applications.
As a result of the delay in passing the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress has extended many of the programs from the 2002 Farm Bill including the Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program. On March 6, 2008 the USDA annouced the availability of funding for these programs under Section 9006. The deadline for applications is June 16, 2008. The 9006 Forms for applications can be found here.
For the most up-to-date application information, contact your state Rural Energy Coordinator. Check back here for updates as they are announced and stay tuned to the USDA site for more information. Also, please see the attached "Farm Bill FAQ" pdf file.
Useful Resources for 2002 Farm Bill
Value-Added Producer Grant Program
Section 9006 Energy Title Grant Program:
"An American Success Story" (ELPC)
Farm Bill Section 9006
Value-Added Producer Grants
Previous Section 9006 Award Winners
2008 Award Winners and USDA 2008 Press Release
2007 Award Winners and USDA 2007 Press Release
2006 Award Winners and USDA 2006 Press Release
2005 Award Winners and USDA 2005 Press Release
2004 Award Winners and USDA 2004 Press Release
2003 Award Winners and USDA 2003 Press Release
More Information and Links
For more information about energy provisions in the Farm Bill:
--Environmental and Energy Study Institute- Energy and Agriculture Program
--Database of Renewable Energy Incentives- Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program summary
--North Dakota SEED- Farm Bill Energy Title resources
--Iowa Rural Development - Farm Bill