U S D A / Rural Development
Washington, D.C.  20250-0705

News Release2002 Farm Bill Logo (farm building encircled by stars and stripes)

Contact: Taylor Oldroyd
(202) 720-1019

Information gathered will be considered for new Farm Bill program

     WASHINGTON, November 22, 2002--The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that USDA Rural Development will hold a public meeting for interested persons to express their views on implementing USDA's new rural renewable energy and energy efficiency program.

     "The development of renewable energy is a key component of President Bush's energy strategy for reducing America's dependence on imported oil, and an opportunity for America's farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to harness the untapped renewable energy resources available on farms and fields throughout our nation," said Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr.

     The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program, created with the passage of the 2002 Farm Bill, will provide farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses financing to support renewable energy ventures in rural areas. The program is funded at $23 million for each year over the next five years to provide grants, loans and guaranteed loans. Implementation of the new program will be in consultation with other USDA agencies and the Department of Energy.

     The meeting will be held December 3, 2002, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 pm (EST). The location will be the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC. To register and to request time for an oral statement contact Elsa De Leon, Office of the Deputy Administrator for Business Programs, Room 5050-S Agriculture Building, Stop 3220, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-3220, email elsa.deleon@usda.gov, Telephone: 202-720-0813. To submit comments by email send to Mr. Pandor Hadjy, Assistant Deputy Administrator at pandor.hadjy@usda.gov. in an ASCII file. Written comments will be accepted through December 6, 2002. Further information on the meeting can also be obtained from the November 22, 2002 edition of the Federal Register.

     USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal entity for rural development needs and administers financial and technical assistance. Further information on USDA Rural Development can be obtained by contacting any USDA Service Center or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/.


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USDA Rural Development is an Equal Opportunity Lender, Provider, and Employer. Complaints of
discrimination should be sent to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

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