Agricultural Benefits Program
Agricultural Benefit Loan Program
Effective July 18, 2017, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors has placed a 90-day moratorium on new applications for the Agricultural Benefit Loan Program. During this period, no applications will be accepted.
The Agricultural Benefit Program has been established by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors to mitigate losses to agricultural production, jobs, and our local economy resulting from renewable energy development on farmland in Imperial County.
To meet these goals, approved uses of Agricultural Benefit funds may include, but are not limited to: stewardship, protection, and enhancement of agricultural lands within Imperial County; tools, technology, and techniques for protection of agricultural commodities or increase of crop yields within Imperial County; and support of programs or projects that increase agricultural industry employment opportunities within Imperial County.
Program funding may be used to provide financial assistance through loans for projects such as:
- Agricultural Business Development (e.g. construction of agricultural commodity processing plant)
- Research and Development (e.g. development of beneficial new crops or technology)
- Agricultural Stewardship (e.g. bringing abandoned or neglected ground back into production)
How to Obtain an Application Package
To obtain an application for consideration for an Agricultural Benefit Program loan, you can obtain a Request for Proposals packet and loan application form through one of the following locations/methods:
- Pick up a packet at the County Executive Office: 940 W. Main St, Suite 208, El Centro
- Pick up a packet at the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office: 852 Broadway, El Centro
- Call the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office to request a packet to be sent via email: (442) 265-1500
- Download a packet from our website
Project applications will be accepted on a continuous filing basis.
Loan Terms and Information
Loans will be available for a maximum of $15,000 for each new net direct job created up to a maximum of $1 million dollars per project. The Board reserves the right to award less or more funding per job depending on the proposal, and to award more total funding per project than specified above depending on the circumstances and total expected benefit of that project to Imperial County's agriculture industry, jobs, and economy. Proposals that supply more new net direct jobs for less funding per job will be scored higher. The interest rate will be set at the County’s Local Agency Investment Fund rate, and adjusted each year based on the annualized quarterly interest rate on June 30, up to a maximum interest rate of 2%. Loans may be for a term of up to a maximum of ten years. Loans may be partially forgivable, up to a maximum of 20% of the original loan amount, upon meeting set goals and success criteria as established for that project during the application process.
Proposals submitted may, at some point, become public records and therefore information in your proposal may become discoverable by the public.
Agricultural Benefit Scholarship Match
Imperial County is pleased to announce the availability of Agricultural Benefit Program funding to match qualifying scholarships awarded by other organizations. To be a Qualifying Scholarship eligible for this match, the scholarship must go to an Imperial County student, and the organization’s scholarship criteria/requirements must show that it is degree specific for agriculture or related fields.
The Agricultural Benefit Program was established by the Board of Supervisors to mitigate losses to agricultural production, jobs, and our local economy resulting from renewable energy development on farmland in Imperial County. One of the target areas of the fund approved by the Board of Supervisors is education and scholarships for agricultural studies.
The County will not be accepting or reviewing applications from students, but rather working with organizations to match qualifying scholarships.
To participate, organizations must provide us with the following as soon as possible:
- Name of your organization, contact name(s), and contact information (please include email)
- Information on the scholarship(s) awarded by your organization that may qualify for a match
- A copy of each scholarship’s criteria/requirements
- The approximate dates that you will determine your scholarship recipients and then notify them
We will let you know whether or not your scholarship qualifies for a match from this fund.
Please submit your list of recipients and award amounts for each qualifying scholarship by mid‑May (see announcement for details). If you are not able to meet that deadline, please contact us. We also need a completed "Agricultural Benefit Scholarship Match: Required Information" form from the student. This form must be received by June 1 unless we receive prior notice of a circumstance which prevents submittal by that time and we approve the late submission.
The student and their family will be invited to attend an award program at a Board of Supervisors meeting, tentatively to be held at the end of June. Board meetings are usually on Tuesday mornings.
Please pass this notice on to any other organizations with scholarship programs that may qualify; the Board of Supervisors would like to assist as many students as possible.