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.
Agricultural Benefit Advisory Committee Bylaws
How to Obtain an Application Package
To obtain an application for consideration for an Agricultural Benefit Program loan or grant, you can obtain a Request for Proposals packet and 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 Loan packet
- Download a Grant packet
Project applications will be accepted on a continuous filing basis.
Loan Terms and Information
Loans per project will be available up to $2 million based on the number of full time equivalent direct jobs created. The calculation for the loan will be based on a maximum of $60,000 for each new exempt net full time equivalent (FTE) direct job created and for a maximum of $30,000 for each new non-exempt net full time equivalent (FTE) direct job created. Potential job retention may be considered for certain proposals. Proposals that supply more new net direct jobs for less funding per job will be scored higher. For purposes under this program, those indirect jobs created as part of the construction of any facility shall not be included when calculating “FTE direct jobs.” In calculating any construction cost, labor construction cost paid by public funding (i.e., this loan program) must be paid at prevailing wages.
The interest rate will be set at the County’s then-current pooled money interest rate. The adjusted rate will apply to the outstanding balance of the loan up to a maximum interest rate of 3%. An additional service fee of 1% will be added by the lending institution. Loans may be for a term of up to a maximum of ten years.
Proposals submitted may, at some point, become public records and therefore information in your proposal may become discoverable by the public.
Grant Terms and Information
Grants will be generally available based on a one year or less project; however, longer-term projects may be considered.
Proposals submitted will become public records and therefore information in your proposal will become discoverable by the public.
Imperial County is pleased to announce the Agricultural Benefit Scholarship Program.
The Agricultural Benefit Program was established to mitigate losses to Ag production, Ag jobs, and our local economy resulting from renewable energy development on farmland in Imperial County. One of the areas supported for funding by the Board of Supervisors is education, specifically scholarships for Imperial County students majoring in agriculture or a closely related field.
The Agricultural Benefit Scholarship Program was approved by the Board of Supervisors on September 13, 2022. Through this opportunity, $150,000 is approved annually for student scholarships where students can be awarded up to $3,000. If more than 50 qualifying students apply and are awarded, the scholarship award amount will be pro-rated to accommodate all students at the maximum total annual funding amount of $150,000. The students selected can continue to apply for the program for up to three additional consecutive years as long as they continue to meet the program requirements. The scholarship award will be sent directly
to the university, college or program on behalf of the student. No exceptions will be made. Interested students are encouraged to review the program eligibility and participation requirements and submit a completed application.
Eligibility & Participation Requirements for University and College Students
- Must be pursuing a degree in agriculture or a closely related field. Major or course of study must be in the program or college of agriculture. The type of career or job goals will not be considered for eligibility.
- Must be a graduate of an Imperial County High School.
- Must be attending a university or college full time.
- Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5.
Eligibility & Participation Requirements for Vocational, Trade or Technical Students
- Must be pursuing a certificate for support of the agricultural industry.
- Must be a graduate of an Imperial County High School.
- Must be attending a vocational, trade or technical school full time.
The Application Process
- Deadline to submit completed online applications is April 30 at 11:59 PM.
- Applications will only be accepted online beginning March 1.
- Application Requirements:
o Completed application form.
o Two References – references will be required to complete the online reference form
o Copy of official high school transcripts, current college transcripts, or proof of enrollment to a trade
school for those participating in consecutive years.
o Answer short essay prompt.
- The selected applicants will be notified via email
- The award money will be sent directly to the university, college, or school, no exceptions
Questions regarding this opportunity can be directed to the Agricultural Commissioner’s office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 442-265-1500.