September 06, 2022

Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act: USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a wide variety of loan programs to support farmers, ranchers, and other people living in rural communities. USDA does this through Farm Loans, Housing Assistance loans, Rural Development Loans, and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans.

Farm Loans

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank, Farm Credit System institution or other lender. FSA offers many different types of loans, such as:

  • Farm Ownership Loans, which help recipients purchase or enlarge their farms or ranches, construct new buildings, or improve new ones, pay closing costs, and pay for soil and water conservation and protection.
  • Operating loans, which help recipients pay for livestock, equipment, minor real estate repairs and annual operating expenses.
  • Microloans, which are direct farm ownership and operating loans with an expedited application process and reduced paperwork. These loans are geared more towards smaller, non-traditional, niche projects.
  • Emergency loans, which provide financial assistance to recipients who have suffered qualifying losses to their farm or ranch from natural disasters.
  • EZ Guarantee loans, which serve the same purpose as microloans.
  • Conservation loans, which help recipients complete a conservation a conservation practice in an approved conservation plan.
  • Land contract guarantees, which provide certain financial guarantees to the seller of a farm or ranch through a land contract sale. This program is oriented towards beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
  • Highly Fractioned Indian Land Loans, which provide a way for tribes, tribal members and tribal entities to purchase fractioned interests through intermediary lenders.

Housing Assistance

USDA provides homeownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income rural Americans through several loan, grant and loan guarantee programs. The programs also make funding available to individuals to finance vital improvements necessary to make their homes decent, safe and sanitary. These programs include:

  • Multifamily Housing Loan Guarantees, which works with qualified private-sector lenders to provide financing to qualified borrowers to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in eligible rural areas and towns.
  • Off-Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans & Grants, which provide affordable financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers.
  • On-Farm Labor Housing Loans, which provide affordable financing to develop or rehabilitate affordable rental housing for very-low income domestic, migrant, and seasonal farm laborers.
  • Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR), which restructures loans for existing Rural Rental Housing and Off-Farm Labor Housing projects to help improve and preserve the availability of safe affordable rental housing for low-income residents.
  • Multifamily Housing Direct Loans, which provide competitive financing for affordable multi-family rental housing for low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals and families in eligible rural areas.

Rural Development Loan and Grant Assistance

USDA provides funding for projects that bring housing, community facilities, business guarantees, utilities and other services to rural America. USDA provides technical assistance and financial backing for rural businesses and cooperatives to create quality jobs in rural areas. These programs include:

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

USDA, through the Farm Service Agency, provides direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources. Each fiscal year, the Agency targets a portion of its direct and guaranteed farm ownership (FO) and operating loan (OL) funds to beginning farmers and ranchers.

Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act - USDA

Summary of BIL Components & Current Notice of Funding Opportunities

The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021, has made historic investments in America’s environmental infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s various grant programs have received substantial new financial support under BIL. The new resources that USDA has obtained under BIL include:

  • The law provides $2 billion for the ReConnect program, which provide loans and grants to fund the acquisition, construction and maintenance of facilities providing broadband service in rural areas.
  • The law provides $10 billion for a biproduct pilot program at the USDA in partnership with land grant universities to study the benefits of using materials derived from agricultural commodities in the production of consumer and construction products.
  • The law provides $918 million over five years for the USDA’s Watershed Programs, which are administered through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. On March 3, 2022, President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Silsack announced that the first round of funds, worth $166.5 million, had been made available.
    • Of the $918 million for Watershed Programs, the largest share, $500 million, will be going to the Watershed and Flood Prevention operations program.
    • Another $118 million is earmarked for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program, which provides funds to renovate dams.
    • About $300 million is allocated for the wildfire resilience in the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.

A full list of outstanding notice of funding opportunities for the USDA’s grant programs can be found below. These programs fall into several key categories, including:

  • Conservation-related grants, which are by far the most common type of grants that can be found below. These include Conservation Innovation Grants, Conservation Collaboration Grant Agreements, Conservation Partnership grants and more.
  • Programs to support rural communities, including those aimed at promoting micro-entrepreneurship, health care, economic and community development, and education.
  • Renewable energy programs, such as the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement program.
  • Tribal programs, including those which provide COVID-19 protection to tribal seafood workers, funding for tribal governments and tribal education.
  • Research programs, including those aimed at soil research, agriculture and food research, citrus disease research and small business innovation research.

 

Funding Opportunity #

Opportunity Title

Agency

Status

Open Date

Close Date

USDA-FS-FHP-FS-PIAP-FY2023

FY23 Forest Service Pesticide Impact Assessment Program

USDA-FS

forecasted

09/01/2022

 

USDA-FS-FHP-STDP-FY2023

Special Technology Development Program

USDA-FS

forecasted

09/01/2022

 

USDA-FS-FHP-BCIFP-FY2023

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INVASIVE FOREST PESTS PROGRAM FY23

USDA-FS

forecasted

09/01/2022

 

USDA-NIFA-OP-009382

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

USDA-NIFA

posted

09/01/2022

11/14/2022

USDA-FS-FHP-EM-FY2023

FY23 Evaluation Monitoring Program

USDA-FS

forecasted

09/01/2022

 

RD-RBCS-23-RMAP

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

USDA-RBCS

posted

08/31/2022

06/30/2023

RD-RBCS-23-REDLG

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant

USDA-RBCS

posted

08/31/2022

06/30/2023

USDA-FS-FLP-01-2024

FY2024 Forest Legacy Program

USDA-FS

posted

08/30/2022

10/03/2022

USDA-FSA-LANDACCESS-22-NOFO0001219

Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program

USDA-FSA

posted

08/24/2022

10/28/2022

USDA-NIFA-ARPAED-009362

From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals

USDA-NIFA

posted

08/24/2022

10/25/2022

RBCS-22-01-HBIIP

Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP)

USDA-RBCS

posted

08/23/2022

11/21/2022

USDA-FS-2023-LSR-WEST

Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2023 West

USDA-FS

posted

08/22/2022

10/27/2022

USDA-NRCS-NHQ-RCPPNM-22-NOFO0001221

USDA-NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program Critical Conservation Area Nutrient Management Grants for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022

USDA-NRCS

posted

08/15/2022

10/31/2022

USDA-NRCS-NHQ-WMBP-22-NOFO0001217

NRCS’s Wetland Mitigation Banking Program for Federal Fiscal Year 2022

USDA-NRCS

posted

08/11/2022

10/10/2022

USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CIGCLASSIC-22-NOFO001218

Announcement for Program Funding for NRCS’s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Classic Program for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022

USDA-NRCS

posted

08/10/2022

10/11/2022

USDA-NIFA-CFP-009321

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program

USDA-NIFA

posted

08/10/2022

10/07/2022

USDA-FS-2023-LSR-NORTHEAST-MIDWEST

Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2023 Northeast and Midwest

USDA-FS

posted

08/10/2022

11/10/2022

USDA-FS-2023-LSR-SOUTHERN-IITF

Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2023 Southern and IITF

USDA-FS

posted

08/10/2022

11/18/2022

USDA-FS-2023-LSR-TRIBES

Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2023 Tribes

USDA-FS

posted

08/10/2022

12/15/2022

USDA-NRCS-NHQ-GLCI-22-NOFO0001216

Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Conservation Technical Assistance: Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) Cooperative Agreements

USDA-NRCS

posted

08/08/2022

09/22/2022

RUS-REC-2022-2

The Rural eConnectivity Program

USDA-RUS

posted

08/04/2022

11/02/2022

USDA-FS-2023-LSR-NORTHEAST-MIDWEST

Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program 2023 Northeast and Midwest

USDA-FS

forecasted

07/28/2022

 

USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-SGSF

Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2022 Southern

USDA-FS

posted

07/27/2022

10/07/2022

USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-CWSF

Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2022 West

USDA-FS

posted

07/27/2022

10/07/2022

USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-TRIBES

Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2022 Tribes

USDA-FS

posted

07/27/2022

10/07/2022

USDA-FS-2022-CWDG-NEMW

Community Wildfire Defense Grant 2022 Northeast-Midwest

USDA-FS

posted

07/27/2022

10/07/2022

USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CIGOFT-22-NOFO0001212

USDA-NRCS On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022

USDA-NRCS

posted

07/25/2022

09/22/2022

USDA-NIFA-SBIR-009301

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Phase I

USDA-NIFA

posted

07/25/2022

10/06/2022

USDA-FSA-MULTI-22-NOFO0001197

FSA Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentive Program: Outreach, Technical Assistance, and Research Agreements

USDA-FSA

posted

07/21/2022

10/21/2022

USDA-FNS-OPS-FY23-EQUITY

Equitable Access in Child Nutrition Programs

USDA-FNS1

posted

07/08/2022

09/12/2022

USDA-FNS-SNAP-SEMTAC-FY22

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Modernization Technical Assistance Center (SEMTAC)

USDA-FNS1

posted

07/07/2022

09/06/2022

USDA-FSA-SND-NOCCSP-22-NOFO0001215

Organic Cost Share Programs

USDA-FSA

posted

05/16/2022

 

USDA-FSA-SND-AMA-22-NOFO0001214

Organic Cost Share Programs

USDA-FSA

posted

05/16/2022

 

USDA-NIFA-AFRI-009041

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program Education and Workforce Development Program

USDA-NIFA

posted

03/22/2022

10/27/2022

USDA-NIFA-AFRI-009003

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational and Applied Science Program

USDA-NIFA

posted

03/09/2022

12/31/2022

USDA-NRCS-AK-CIG-22-NOFO0001148

Announcement for Program Funding for NRCS’ Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022 – Alaska

USDA-NRCS

posted

02/09/2022

 

USDA-NRCS-COMM-22-NOFO0001139

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities – Building Markets and Investing in America’s Climate-Smart Farmers, Ranchers & Forest Owners to Strengthen U.S. Rural and Agricultural Communities

USDA-NRCS

posted

02/07/2022

 

USDA-RHS-ERHC-2021

Emergency Rural Health Care (ERHC) Grant Program

USDA-RHS

posted

09/13/2021

 

RDBCP-REAP-RES-EEI-2019

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program

USDA-RBCS

posted

10/30/2018

 

RDBCP-REAP-RES-EEI-2016

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program

USDA-RBCS

posted

10/13/2015

 


*Faegre Drinker Policy Assistant Andrew Bryant contributed to this article.

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