|SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES PROJECTS TO IMPROVE FARM, RANCH AND RURAL BUSINESS ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND GENERATION|
|Topeka, Kan., Sep 30, 2013
@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for projects in 22 states that will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs. Funding will also allow producers to use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. Grant and loan funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.
"REAP continues to help farmers and rural businesses reduce their energy consumption and by doing so, improve the bottom line of their operations," said Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O' Brien. "This important Farm Bill program and others like it would not be available without a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill."
REAP helps producers reduce energy costs and increase efficiency. In Kansas, 38 small businesses and agricultural producers received a total of $394,000 in REAP funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the state.
Agricultural REAP Projects
Small Business REAP Projects
Under the terms of REAP, up to 25 percent of eligible project costs can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan guarantee. Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has helped fund nearly 8,000 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. REAP also helps the conservation of natural resources and the development of new forms of energy that reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels and creates a stronger rural economy. Follow this link to view the complete list of recipients announced today under the REAP program.
Today's REAP announcement helps support the June 2013 announcement of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which outlines a comprehensive approach to reduce carbon pollution and better prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change. USDA continues helping rural America innovate to lead the world against modern climate challenges, and a summary of the USDA's efforts are available at www.usda.gov/climatesolutions.
More information about USDA's role and accomplishments in renewable energy can be found here: www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=ENERGY featuring access to agricultural, forestry, economic, and socio data on energy through several web-based tools: the USDA Renewable Energy Investment Map, the Renewable Energy Tool and Energy Matrix. These tools focus on USDA's investments and projects for energy, energy efficiency, and conservation programs; provides information and data to a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including: farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, managers, lenders, community developers, related companies, small businesses, researchers, developers, and federal, state and local government agencies.
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, 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.
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