HB 1557-FN-A - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1557-FN-A
SPONSORS: Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10
COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture
This bill establishes a value added grant matching fund and program for New Hampshire agricultural producers.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
Value Added Producer Grant Program
425:27 Value Added Producer Grant Program.
I. There is established in the state treasury a fund, to be known as the value added producer grant fund, for the purpose of providing matching grants to recipients of federal value added producer grants from the United States Department of Agriculture. Moneys in this account shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the department of agriculture, markets, and foods.
II. There is established in the department of agriculture, markets, and food the value-added producer grant program to assist New Hampshire agricultural producers in generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing agricultural producer income.
III. Any agricultural producer who receives a Value Added Producer Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture may apply to the commissioner to receive a grant from the department of agriculture, markets, and food for an amount equal to up to half of the grant received from the USDA. Such grant shall be issued within 60 days of receipt of the Value Added Producer Grant from the USDA.
IV. The commissioner shall award such grants in the same proportion for all recipients in a given application year.
V. The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the administration of the program.
(359) Money received by the department of agriculture, markets, and food for administration for the value added producer grant fund established in RSA 425:27.
3 Appropriation. The sum of $100,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 is hereby appropriated to the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food for the purpose of awarding value added producer grants to agricultural producers pursuant to RSA 425:27. Such funds shall be nonlapsing. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
HB 1557-FN-A- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ X ] Other - Value added producer grant fund
This bill establishes a non-lapsing value added grant matching fund and program for New Hampshire agricultural producers. The Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (Department) indicates the fund would be available to recipients of grants from the federal Value-Added Producer Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Department has no oversight regarding the USDA Value Added Producer Grant Program, and receives no information from USDA regarding the grant awards. The Department would need to establish communication with the USDA Rural Development Agency to confirm grant award information for NH matching funds applications. Projects receiving funding under the federal program may receive grants up to $250,000. The federal program requires that recipients provide a match of 50% of the total project costs, which can be a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. Applicants must show the sources of matching funds in the federal application, meaning applicants seeking NH matching funds would need to apply to the Department prior to approval from the USDA. Approval for NH matching funds would then be contingent on approval of federal funds from the USDA. If a federal application was not approved, the NH matching funds would be retained for distribution to other applicants in the next round of funding. The Department assumes the program could be managed by existing staff and there would likely be only a few applicants for matching funding each year. The federal Value-Added Producer Grant Program was not funded in 2017 and 2019 and no awards were made. Nine NH producers have been funded through the federal program since 2014. The Department would establish guidelines and rules defining the application process, funding rate, reporting, and any limits on the number of applicants funded per year. Recipients of federal USDA Value Added Producer Grant would enter into an agreement with the Department to oversee the spending of the funds.
Federal applications for program funding are due in January and awards are made in the Spring. Applicants for NH matching funds would need to apply and be confirmed for matching funds ahead of the federal deadline in January. Recipients of federal grants would be confirmed by the Department and an agreement with the recipient would be executed. Future spending of the initial $100,000 general fund appropriation from the non-lapsing fund will depend on the number of applicants and the federal funding level in each year.
Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food
|Jan. 16, 2020||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 4, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Environment and Agriculture HJ 1 P. 26|
|Jan. 16, 2020||Public Hearing: 01/16/2020 10:00 am LOB 303|
|Jan. 30, 2020||Full Committee Work Session: 01/30/2020 10:00 am LOB 303|
|Feb. 4, 2020||Executive Session: 02/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 303|
|Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study (Vote 20-0; CC)|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study for 02/19/2020 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 7 P. 7|
|Feb. 19, 2020||Refer for Interim Study: MA VV 02/19/2020 HJ 4 P. 11|