|(AUGUST 20, 2013) RURAL IOWA BUSINESSES RECEIVE USDA GRANTS TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCE RENEWABLE ENERGY|
|Rural Energy for America Program Part of Obama Administration’s ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Strategy|
|Des Moines, Iowa, Aug 20, 2013
@@Last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for hundreds of projects across the nation – including 30 in Iowa – that will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and/or conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects.
Grant and loan funding is made available through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“As part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, USDA continues to work with America’s farmers, ranchers and rural businesses to help them save energy and improve their bottom line,” Vilsack said. “This program and others like it would not be available without a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, and again I urge Congress to pass a bill when they return to Washington next month.”
Under the terms of the REAP program, up to 25 percent of an eligible energy production or conservation project can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan. Since the start of the Obama Administration, the REAP program has helped fund nearly 7,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
REAP offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses.
“REAP is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, and successful Farm Bill programs like this one greatly underscore the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill,” Vilsack said. “REAP helps the conservation of natural resources and the development of new forms of energy that reduces America’s dependence on fossil fuels and creates a stronger rural economy.”
Projects in Iowa include:
Contact USDA Rural Development
To contact USDA Rural Development in Iowa 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.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).