News Release
Release No.STELPRD4011717
ContactDawn Knepp717-237-2286
Berlin, PA, Aug 08, 2011 --


Contact Dawn Knepp (717) 237-2286


Pennwood Farms Showcases USDA Rural Development Funded Methane Digester

Berlin, Pa., August 8, 2011 – USDA Rural Development officials today attended an open house at

Pennwood Farms, featuring a new anaerobic methane digester, funded in part with Rural Development funds.

    Manure from the 570 cow dairy farm will be converted into methane gas through anaerobic digestion that

will create 919,475 kWh of electricity per year and will provide a surplus of 553,825 kWh that will be sold back to the utility. Pennwood Farms also received funding from the PA Energy Development Authority for the project.

“Biofuels and other renewable energy sources present an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” said Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development State Director. “I’m pleased that Rural Development can assist dairy farmers by providing programs that increase energy efficiency on the farm.”

Rural Development provides grants and loans through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Funds are available to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses develop renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements and conduct studies to determine the feasibility of renewable energy systems. Under REAP, local businesses receive assistance to deploy wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.

  Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of approximately 110 employees located in 11 offices throughout Pennsylvania. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Pennsylvania State Office at (717) 237-2299 or visit its website at