Temple, Texas, Jan 24, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the launch of a USDA energy website that will provide stakeholders fast and efficient access to USDA energy efficiency and renewable energy data. The announcement builds on the Secretary’s commitment to develop a modern and efficient service organization as outlined in USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service announced last week.
“Improving and modernizing access to USDA energy data and resources is essential in today’s highly competitive rural business environment,” said Vilsack. “Farmers, ranchers and small businesses across the country will benefit from easier navigation and retrieval of energy and renewable energy investments data and funding opportunities.”
“With energy costs accounting for larger portions of farmers and small business owners’ budgets each year, energy-efficiency measures are in high demand,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “USDA’s energy website will offer farmers, ranchers and rural business owners a one-stop location for information on how to make their operations more energy efficient, while also providing details on Rural Development’s renewable energy grant and loan programs.”
USDA’s energy website provides access to all USDA energy resources, including: agricultural, forestry, economic, and social data. This is done in part through a set of new complementary web-based tools: the USDA Renewable Energy Investment Map, the Renewable Energy Tool and Energy Matrix. These tools focus on USDA’s energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments and projects; provide information and data to a broad spectrum of stakeholders; and empower the user with the ability to easily navigate USDA’s energy web resources. In addition, the site provides a link to all USDA state and local offices and energy resource coordinators.
Vilsack said this newly designed tool is a great step in a more coordinated and efficient effort to increase public awareness of USDA’s energy research, commercialization of new technologies, program delivery, outreach, and education activities. It also provides a form or technical assistance to people thinking about adopting an energy project. The new site replaces a previous site which was established several years ago. To access the site, go to: www.usda.gov/energy. Texas USDA Rural Development also has a state specific energy website, which can be viewed at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/TX_Energy.html.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/TXHome.html for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office in Texas.