Farm Energy Working Group

Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy practices to meet the needs of Iowa's small to mid-sized farm operations

One Stop Shop: Farm Grants-Loans

Farm Service Agency Cooler Program (Storage Facility Loan program)

Farmers apply to the FSA for funding to build/upgrade farm storage/handling facilities to store fruits/vegetables, renewable biomass, and other crops.

Fact sheet on FSA Storage Facility Loan program >
Fact sheet on FSA Cold Storage program for fruits, vegetables, nuts >

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

This USDA program offers grants and loans for energy production and conservation projects in four areas:

    • renewable energy,
    • energy efficiency,
    • feasibility studies for renewable energy,
    • energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Iowa USDA REAP home page >

To find an Iowa Rural Development office near you >

Iowa Energy Center Loans

Eligibility: Individuals and groups who build alternate energy production facilities in Iowa. Application required. 
Funding: Up to 50% of financed project cost at 0% interest rate. Applicants apply to a local lender for the other 50% of the loan.

Read about Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program guidelines and case studies >


EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) On-Farm Energy Initiative

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) uses EQIP to help producers address energy conservation. 

    • Includes on-farm energy audit plus financial/technical assistance to implement conservation practices recommended in the energy audit.
    • Eligible Practices: On-farm energy improvement,  no-till, cover crop, conservation rotation
    • Eligibility: Producers who grow agricultural commodities on eligible land and have resource concerns which may be addressed by energy conservation practices.
    • Payments: Up to $300,000/person or entity for 6-year period.
    • Look at the On-Farm Energy Initiative and the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative


Farm Service Agency (FSA) Microloans for small farms

    • Target audience includes non-traditional farm operations/small specialty producers
    • Farms that gross less than $25,000/year
    • Cover start-up expenses: hoop houses, tools, irrigation, delivery vehicles, seed, fertilizer, utilities, marketing, distribution expenses, minor improvements to farm real estate (shed/storage structures)
    • Direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche type operations.