Department of Agriculture
  • How will this help New Jersey?
    How will this help New Jersey?
    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will provide much-needed funding and assistance to programs that impact agriculture and agriculture-related businesses and issues, helping the State to meet the needs of residents and businesses hard hit by the economic downturn.
  • How much of this funding will come to New Jersey?
    How much of this funding will come to New Jersey?
    The ARRA language, and in some instances language from other federal laws, will govern how much of this funding and assistance can come to projects, businesses, or individuals in New Jersey. Among the areas targeted are:

    The Commodity Assistance Program will provide funds for additional emergency commodities such as meat, fruits, vegetables, pasta, and cheese. This effort is intended to meet the increased demand for emergency food assistance caused by the financial crisis. Only community feeding organizations that currently operate under the auspices of the NJDA’s Division of Food and Nutrition will be eligible to receive the supplemental commodities assistance

    An additional $100 million dollars will be available nationally to school district food service providers to purchase equipment, with priority to be given to schools where not less than 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The grants will be competitively awarded. School districts whose feeding programs currently meet the NJDA Division of Food and Nutrition’s guidelines, as well as the ARRA’s guidelines on the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches, will be eligible to seek the equipment grants through the NJDA. Details on how to apply are pending guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    Loan guarantees through the Temporary Program for Rapid Deployment of Renewable Energy and Electric Power Transmission Projects section of the ARRA will provide $6 billion nationwide for projects that produce power or biofuels. New Jersey’s share of that money will depend on which projects from the state are chosen and the amounts of loan guarantees sought. In general, these will help farmers and other businesses seeking to generate power or create advanced biofuels using renewable methods that could include non-food crops grown by New Jersey farmers specifically for energy uses. Businesses or individuals pursuing renewable energy power generation and transmission projects - as well as leading-edge biofuels projects at the pilot or demonstration scale that substantially reduce life-cycle greenhouse emissions compared to other fuels - will be eligible to seek loan guarantees for those projects

    The ARRA makes available additional assistance to finfish aquaculture producers whose feed costs have substantially risen above the previous five-year average. New Jersey has nine such producers who could be eligible for this funding through the NJDA, with amounts determined by the percentage increase of feed costs. Nationwide, $50 million will be made available through this program. The funding for New Jersey producers will be passed through the NJDA using a USDA formula

    Watershed and Flood Prevention, and Watershed Rehabilitation projects are identified to receive $290 million and $50 million, respectively, nationwide. Only watershed or dam-repair projects already on the existing list of projects through the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will be eligible for those funds, with specific projects and amounts determined by NRCS.
  • Will there be reporting requirements?
    Will there be reporting requirements?
    Each type of funding and assistance will require varying levels and types of reporting, including assurances of paying the prevailing wage (in the case of the renewable energy loan guarantees), documentation of increased feed costs (aquaculture assistance) and records of the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-priced meals (for the school feeding equipment grants).