Davis, CA, Jul 11, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced recently that USDA has selected for funding 450 projects nationwide, including 13 in California, that are focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs and use renewable energy technologies in their operation. Funding is made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.
In California, projects total $260,000. Locally, they include installation of solar systems at Pomar Junction Cellars in Templeton ($33,810) and Olive U Olive Oil Co. in Cholame ($13,991).
"The Obama Administration and USDA are helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners reduce their energy costs and consumption – and by doing so is helping to create jobs, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strengthen the bottom line for businesses." said Vilsack. "This is part of the Administration's "all of the above" energy strategy. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America."
REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other funding sources for businesses. In all, USDA announced nearly $7.4 million in energy grants. For a complete listing of Rural Energy for America Program grant recipients announced, please click here.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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.
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