The agricultural growth, research, and innovation program is established in order to promote the advancement of the state's agricultural and renewable energy industries.
For the purposes of this program, the commissioner may issue grants, loans, or other forms of financial assistance. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, grants to livestock producers under the livestock investment grant program under section 17.118, bioenergy awards made by the NextGen Energy Board under section 41A.105, cost-share grants for the installation of biofuel blender pumps, and financial assistance to support other rural economic infrastructure activities.
The commissioner, in consultation with the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over agriculture finance, must allocate available funds among eligible uses, develop competitive eligibility criteria, and award funds on a needs basis. By February 1 each year, the commissioner shall report to the legislature on the allocation among eligible uses and any financial assistance provided under this section.
Grant projects may continue for up to three years. Multiyear projects must be reevaluated by the commissioner before second- and third-year funding is approved. A project is limited to one grant for its funding.
This section expires on June 30, 2015.