Washington DC, Oct 27, 2011 -- Local Contact:
Dawn Knepp (717) 237-2286
USDA Rural Development Funded Ideal Family Farms Digester
Project Open House
BEAVERTOWN, October 27, 2011 – USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Williams attended an open house today, celebrating the completion of the successful installation of a bio-digester at Ideal Family Farms in Beavertown. Rural Development funds anaerobic digester projects to encourage renewable energy production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and farm-based pollution.
“Through the efforts of the Obama Administration, the Rural Energy for America Program has helped rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers across Pennsylvania,” Williams said. “This program creates jobs, increases energy efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. It also provides producers with new opportunities to create revenue and compete globally.”
Funding for the biodigesters is provided through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Williams said that, since its creation in the 2002 Farm Bill through Fiscal Year 2010, REAP has created or saved an estimated 13.4 billion kWh of electricity, reduced almost 14.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, assisted almost 9,600 businesses, farmers and ranchers, and created or saved an estimated 15,000 jobs.
A total of 14 anaerobic digester projects have been funded in Pennsylvania with nine in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. An anaerobic digester project takes eight to 10 months to complete, utilizes many local jobs such as engineers, excavators, electricians, plumbers, masons, concrete contractors and
During climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Secretary signed a historic agreement to help U.S. dairy producers cut greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement between USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy calls for the parties to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms by 25 percent by 2020.
In Fiscal Year 2011, USDA, through the REAP program, provided over $20 million in assistance for biodigesters, and leveraged $110 million in other funds. Through its Value-Added Producer Grant program, USDA provides planning grants of up to $100,000 and working capital grants of up to $300,000 to be used for establishment of a biodigester. Additionally, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) program.
Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America’s rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.
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 www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).