Understanding Rules for Grant Evaluation
What farmers and ranchers are eligible?
- Be 51% or more owned and operated by US citizens or rermanent residents.
- Directly engage in production of agricultural products so that 50% or more of gross income comes from their operations.
- Have have been debarred by the Government.
- Certify that theyhave no known relationship or association with any agency employee of the Rural Development Office of the USDA.
What are eligible costs?
- Post application purchase & installation of equipment, except agricultural tillage equipment and vehicles.
- Post application construction or project improvements,
- Energy audits or assessments
- Professional service fees, except for application preparation
- Feasibility studies if applicable
Guaranteed Loans From the USDA Business Initiative Program
- Guaranteed loan applications can be submitted anytime
- Additional eligible costs will be for working capital and land acquisition (guaranteed loans only)
- $10 million maximum guaranteed loan
- Can be no more than 50% of total eligible project costs
- Combination grant and guaranteed loans will also be available
(up to 50% of total eligible costs for Loan & Grant combo)
Evaluation Criteria Scoring Guideline
- Quantity of energy replaced, produced, or saved:
- Environmental benefits:
- Commercial availability:
- Technical merit:
- Readiness: (Grants only)
- Small agricultural producer/very small:
- Simplified application:
- Previous grantee & borrower:
- Return on investment:
- Loan rate if you are doing a loan and grant combo:
Components of the Technical Report
- Qualifications of the project team
- Agreements and Permits
- Energy or Resource Assessment
- Design and Engineering
- Project Development Schedule
- Project Economic Assessment
- Equipment Procurement
- Equipment Installation
- Operation and Maintenance
- Dismantling & disposal of project components
Help your clients win grants to buy your products.
The best predictor of the future is the past!
• In 2008, winning applications scored at or above 84 points (for combination grant/loans) and 92 points (for grants-only).
You or the granter writer can help your client get there by:
• Getting project support letters from government
• Helping their bank with the financial forms
• Getting a 5-year certified warranty
• Getting an energy audit
• Correctly filling in all forms
The rest will be based on the quality of work they do!
Technical Report from Applicant
- Qualifications of the project team: 10 points
Grant application needs to list everyone who is going to be involved and their credentials.
- Who will be installing the project? (give name, address, phone and their credentials)
- List all people that work on the Farm or Business and their experience.
- Who did the audit and their credentials?
- Who will run and maintain the project when installed?
- Agreements and permits: 5 points
State if the project is replacing existing equipment and whether or not there are environmental issues. A letter will be needed form the local building permit group saying that either no permit is needed or proof that they have permits issued.
- Energy or resource assessment: 10 points
Need to explain the old project verses the new and the estimated average annual energy savings. This is typically done by a certified energy engineer.
- Design & engineering: 30 points
Describe the project. Tell why this project or item is the best. The applicant certifies that the project will be designed & engineered so it meets the intended purpose and will comply with safety regulations, agreements, permits, codes, & standards.
- Project Development Schedule: 5 points
Describe the development method, proposed schedule for each activity starting and ending dates. Estimated date when the energy audit will be done along with the project dates.
- Project Economic Assessment: 20 points
Describe the financial performance of the proposed project, including the calculation of simple payback. Description of addressing project costs & revenue, applicable investment & production incentives allowing the assessment of project to be cost effective.
- Equipment Procurement: 5 points
The applicant needs to describe the availability of the equipment required by the system. The description supports that the required equipment is available, and can be procured & delivered within the proposed project development schedule.
- Equipment Installation: 5 points
The applicant needs to describe the plan for site development & system installation.
• Finding the USDA Contact office