With the concentration of animal production has come intense need for technology to handle animal feces and urine, commonly called animal waste. Much innovation occurs to meet regulatory needs, but several government grant programs help fund such research. Here are a few:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency's AgSTAR program concentrates on anaerobic digester technology. Administrator Kurt Roos calls AgSTAR the “one-stop biogas shop.” The AgSTAR Web site catalogues a huge number of active programs and grants, nationally, regionally and by state. To learn about AgSTAR go to: www.epa.gov/agstar/index.html.

    A PDF document, “Funding On-Farm Biogas Recovery Systems: A Guide to Federal and State Resources,” on AgSTAR's Web site lists some funding opportunities. Download it at: www.epa.gov/agstar/pdf/ag_fund_doc.pdf.

  • Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a new program administrated through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS provided $14.25 million through CIG for 2004. Recipients included 13 universities, 10 governmental organizations, eight agribusinesses, four state governments, two resource conservation and development councils, two conservation districts and two individuals.

    Additional information about Conservation Innovation Grants can be found at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/ and www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/2004grants.html.

  • The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program advances farming systems that the review committee considers profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities. The program is part of USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. Go to: www.sare.org/about/index.htm to learn more about SARE grants.

  • The Web page for Manure and Nutrient Management for the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) offers three grant programs to help develop new manure management technology. Two apply to institutions, governments and/or corporate entities. The other is for small businesses. Go to: www.csrees.usda.gov/ProgView.cfm?prnum=3033. Under “Funding” you will find the three categories offered: National Research Initiative, Air Quality National Research Initiative, and Small Business Innovation grants.

  • The National Center for Manure and Animal Waste Management doesn't catalogue or offer grants, but it's one of many good resources to learn more about technologies being evaluated. Check out: www.cals.ncsu.edu:8050/waste_mgt/natlcenter/center.htm. The center's current list of research projects is available at an extension of that link:www.cals.ncsu.edu:8050/waste_mgt/natlcenter/research.htm.