Washington, D.C., Nov 08, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 424 projects across the nation that will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs, and use renewable energy technologies in their operations.
“Authorized by the now-expired 2008 Farm Bill, The Rural Energy for America Program helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners reduce fossil fuel use by promoting renewable energy sources and technologies,” Vilsack said. “Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in Rural America. As part of the President’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, REAP not only strengthens the bottom line for businesses, it also helps preserve this country’s natural resources.”
Vilsack noted that today’s funding announcement is another reminder of the importance of Farm Bill programs for the economic vitality of rural America, and a compelling reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed as soon as possible. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy, Vilsack added.
The Rural Energy for America Program 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.
Vilsack announced more than $14 million in grants and loan guarantees to business owners in 22 states, the Western Pacific, the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A total of 126 of the projects in today’s announcement are located in Iowa.
For example, Grinnell Markets Inc., of Grinnell has been selected to receive a $39,000 grant to install more energy efficient lighting and refrigeration and to install a more
efficient heating, ventilation and cooling system. L&S Pumping, Inc., in Strawberry Point was selected for an $11,675 grant to help purchase and install a geothermal heating and cooling system for a business equipment maintenance shop.
Under REAP, up to 25 percent of an eligible renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement project 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 more than 8,250 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
View the list of recipients announced today under the Rural Energy for America Program. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about USDA Rural Development 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.
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.
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.
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