USDA Gives Grants to Two Iowa Biodiesel Plants

Money will be used to help soy-based fuel manufacturing facilities get started. Rod Swoboda

Published on: Dec 16, 2005

Mark Reisinger, state director of USDA’s Rural Development Agency in Iowa, presented a $100,000 Value Added Producer Grant to Southern Iowa
BioEnergy of Lamoni on December 8. The funds will be used to assist in planning and development of a soybean biodiesel facility in southern
Iowa.

On December 14, he presented a $500,000 Renewable Energy Grant to Clinton County BioEnergy. Those funds will be used in the construction and operation of a soybean biodiesel facility in Clinton, Iowa.

So far in 2005, 14 projects in Iowa have been awarded nearly $1.3 million in USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant funds. During the past five years, 84
Iowa-based projects have been awarded $16 million in grant funds, creating 660 new jobs with a total employee compensation of $19.7 million. Iowa-based businesses have received more than 15% of the national funding available in Value-Added Producer Grants over the five years of the program.

Grants are available to independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. The grants can be used for planning activities needed to establish a viable value-added marketing opportunity for an agricultural product or for acquiring working capital to operate a value-added business venture that will allow producers to better compete in domestic and international markets.

Help to make farms energy efficient

Clinton County BioEnergy is one of 37 Iowa-based recipients of the 2005 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency program. These 37 projects in Iowa received a combined $5.7 million in grant funds as part of the 2005 program. They represent one quarter of the nation's total recipients, as well as 27% of the total grant funds provided nationwide during the year.

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program, with the mission to reduce energy costs and consumption, began in 2003. Eligible energy projects include wind, solar, biomass including biodiesel, ethanol and anaerobic digesters, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from biomass or water using one of the aforementioned sources, and energy efficiency.

Examples of energy efficiency projects might be upgrading electric motors in equipment, insulation, replacing grain drying units, and upgrading electrical systems or heating systems.

Eleven USDA Rural Development offices in
Iowa serve the 1.9 million Iowans living in rural communities. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
 
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver quality programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in home ownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure.

Further information on rural programs in
Iowa is available by calling (515) 284-4663, at a local USDA Rural Development office, or by visiting USDA Rural Development's Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.