Des Moines, IA, Aug 18, 2011 -- DES MOINES, Iowa – August 18, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced grants for more than 900 agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the country to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations.
“These investments enable our farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners to develop renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will save them thousands of dollars in energy costs each year,” Vilsack said. “This funding is an important part of the Obama Administration’s plan to conserve natural resources, create jobs and lead our country on the path to becoming more energy independent.”
The grants are being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a 2008 Farm Bill initiative. REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements.
A total of 21 projects in Iowa are receiving $253,548 in grant funds as part of today’s announcement. The projects will help producer reduce energy costs through the installation of more efficient grain drying systems.
These federal funds leverage other funding sources for small businesses. In all, USDA Rural Development announced more than $11.6 million in energy grants today.
USDA Rural Development is providing funding for up to $61 million in guaranteed loans and $42 million in grants through 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.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and cooperative programs.
For more information about finance programs through USDA Rural Development, please call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
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