Indianapolis, IN, Dec 10, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development has announced three Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant awardees for Knox County.
W. Lowell Carnahan & Sons, Jackson, Ltd., and McClure Farms, Inc. were part of the recent funding announcement of 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. Project funds for the three, will replace inefficient grain dryers with an energy efficient dryer which will have an energy savings of 52 percent.
"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," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently 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 the 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 Knox County recipients will be acknowledged during a brief presentation at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center, 2013 Hart Street, Vincennes, IN 47591.
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.
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.
During the Obama administration, USDA Rural Development has provided over $28 million in REAP funding in Indiana.
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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