Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Funding for Scholarships

The month of May and June always bring Graduations and Graduation Parties. While sounds of Pomp and Circumstance linger through the air, I sit eating another piece of graduation cake and all of a sudden it occurs to me that a scholarship application is very similar to a grant application. And when I start to think more about it; I come to the conclusion that a scholarship is a type of grant. It is awarded based on what you have done in the past and will fund what you plan to accomplish in the future.

And, that is where the thought for this blog post came from. Although it may be a little late for this year it’s never too late to start planning for next year.

An ideal place to looking for scholarships is your local community foundation. Most offer scholarships based on how good of a student you are or what major/career path you plan to take. Also, I would suggest checking out larger businesses and corporations as they sometimes have scholarships available. In some cases the scholarships may only be awarded to employees or relatives of employees so it never hurts to check and see if employers of family members have scholarships available.

Lastly I would suggest looking around at some of the non-for-profit organizations in your community as well. Many times they will offer scholarships based on need or an area of study that matches their mission.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I’m From the Country… and I Like it That Way

I believe Tracy Byrd sang the lyrics to this song “that’s where I’m from and I’m proud to say… I’m from the country and I like it that way.” Don’t be surprised if I turn that song up and sing along on the radio this evening on my drive home, out of the bustling city amongst all the other rush hour drivers to head to my house nestled in the country side of central Indiana. Ahhh… the country… it is so peaceful and quiet there and makes me appreciate all the simple things in life.

But all of that aside I have a grant from USDA to mention to you today that is available for cooperatives or associations of cooperatives whose primary focus is to provide assistance to small producers in rural areas and where at least 75 percent of the governing board or membership has an annual gross ag product sales of $250,000 or less. Grants can be used for product improvements, business plan development, or economic development activities of eligible producers. Funds can range up to $200,000 per grant. Applications are due July 27th and more information can be found at  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Biomass, Biofuels, Biothis and Biothat

I have 3 programs to share with you today that all deal with renewable energy. So to get things started off….

Biomass Research and Development Initiative

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are offering funding through a grant for Biomass Research and Development. Funding can be used on: Technologies and processes necessary for abundant commercial production of biofuels at prices competitive with fossil fuels; High-value biobased products; and a diversity of economically and environmentally sustainable domestic sources of renewable biomass for conversion to biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products. Eligible applicants include: non-profits, academia and the private sector. Pre-applications are due June 7, 2010 and more information can be found at;jsessionid=MHtLLqTZjDqDKXvvh1z5GyT1dFy6dcS4PNG0JLRRy9bTP2TnN10P!-2132130105?oppId=54455&mode=VIEW

USDA-Repowering Assistance Program

Eligible biorefineries in existence before June 18th, 2008 can partake in this program which encourages the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of this biorefineries. Payments will be made based on the amount of fossil fuel a renewable biomass system is replacing; the cost effectiveness and economic benefit to the area. For applications please contact your USDA-Rural Development State Office.

USDA-Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels payments to Advanced Biofuel Producers

This program provides payments to to eligible advanced Biofuel producers in rural areas for the production of fuel derived from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch to include: biofuels derived from cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, sugar, starch, waste material, diesel-equivalent fuel derived from renewable biomass included vegetable oil and animal fat, biogas, and butanol. For applications please contact your state USDA-Rural Development office.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deadline for REAP grant

I have blogged before about USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant (in case you missed that post you can find it here at ) However, I wanted to revisit that grant program again and make sure you were aware of its impending due date. The Indiana USDA Rural Development State Office has received approximately $1.2 million in REAP grant funds allocation and approximately $6.2 million in loan fund allocation. In order to be considered to receive funding from the Indiana state allocation of grant funds, applications must be received by the state USDA Rural Development office no later than 4:30 PM on Monday, May 17, 2010. If an application is received by USDA after May 17, 2010, but before June 30, 2010, then the application may only be considered to receive funding from the national funding allocation. Please note the final deadline for any REAP grant applications to be considered for funding in FY 2010 is 4:30 PM on June 30, 2010.

If you will recall the REAP grant is for energy efficient ideas for your farm or small business that could reduce energy use and result in financial savings for your operation. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and are for up to 25% of total eligible project costs. Grants range from $2,500-$500,000 for renewable energy systems and between $1,500-$250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Check out USDA’s REAP website for the full program guidance.

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