BISMARCK, ND, Jan 05, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider today announced an upcoming workshop which will give local agricultural producers and small business owners the information they need to make energy efficiency improvements to their operation.
The USDA Rural Development, the Environmental Law and Policy Center and NDSU will host the workshop starting at 1:00 p.m., on Tuesday, January 11. The workshop will take place in the Exchequer Room during the Winter Ag Expo in the Jamestown Civic Center in Jamestown.
The workshop is designed to inform participants about the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This program provides grants and loans to agricultural producers and rural small business owners to help them purchase renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Participants will learn the key points of the program's application process; obtain supportive materials for the program; learn about energy-related USDA Rural Development programs; and the importance of energy audits.
“I encourage agricultural producers and rural small business owners to attend this free workshop,” said Schneider. “This program could be a valuable tool to those seeking to make energy efficiency improvements to their operations.”
Rural energy grants can pay up to 25 percent of the cost of doing energy efficiency improvements to a facility, building or a process within the agricultural operation. The maximum grant amount for energy efficiency grants is $250,000 and the minimum award is $2,500.
Some examples of REAP projects in the region include replacement of inefficient grain dryers with more efficient models, and agricultural producers and businesses that have supplemented or entirely replaced their heating and cooling units with more efficient systems.
For more information on the Rural Energy for America Program, call Dennis Rodin in Bismarck at 800) 582-7584, Extension 2068.