USDA Grant and Loan Opportunities: Rural Development, Alabama

      Business and Cooperative Program Director: Mary Ann Clayton

Posted: November 28, 2007

Rural Development is a USDA agency that makes funds available in the forms of guaranteed loans, direct loans and grants. The funds may be provided through a local lender or from loans and grants directly from the U.S. Treasury. Many types of projects are eligible for funding through the various programs, including alternative fuels. Two programs Section 9006 and Section 9008 address alternative fuels, specifically.

The Business and Cooperative Program of USDA in Alabama accepts applications for these grant and loan programs year-round. This gives the applicant the opportunity to work with the Rural Development BCP staff in determining which program best fits the need and in preparing the application for submission.

You may view more details of all of the programs at and at

Grants for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements are provided through the Section 9006: Renewable Energy and Efficiency Grant Program. More information is available at An application and required forms may be reviewed at

Section 9008, Biomass Research and Development Initiative is jointly administered by USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Program requirements are enumerated at The Program provides financial assistance for research and development of biomass based products, bioenery, biofuels and related processes.

Congressional reauthorization of the Farm Bill will make more funds available in 2008. The Notices of Funds Available will be posted on the Center for Alternative Fuels web site. In the meanwhile, interested applicants can be preparing project descriptions and gathering information required for submittals using the references noted above. The time between posting and closing dates is often short.