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USDA Helps Rural Missouri Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems

Lindsay Cheek
Release Date

Over $1.5 million will help 51 Businesses Boost Their Bottom Line 

   COLUMBIA, Mo., Dec. 10, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced USDA is investing $1,575,921 to assist 51 Missouri farmers, ag producers, and rural-based businesses lower energy costs.  USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

   “Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural Missouri,” said Case.  “Today’s announcement helps farmers, ag producers, and rural businesses in our state integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency to their operations, creates jobs, improves recipients’ bottom lines and ultimately helps America become more energy independent.” 

   Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. For example:

   Grassland Beef used a $103,806 grant to assist with the purchase and installation of a 201.6 kW solar array for its cold storage business in Canton, Mo. This is expected to save the business more than $15,000 per year in savings and reduce energy use by almost 20%.

   Berry Brothers Farm is a family-owned farm operation that raises rice and soybeans near Neelyville, Mo. A $26,963 grant will assist with the purchase and installation of energy-efficient electric motors for irrigation power, grain drying and grain handling, replacing older motors and reducing energy use. The project is expected to save the farm over $60,000 per year in energy costs.

   DeVault Veterinary Services, located in Mexico, Mo., used a $19,938 grant to assist with the purchase and installation of a 25.08 kW solar array. This project is expected to save this animal hospital more than $3,000 per year in energy costs and reduce energy use by more than 50%.

   Today’s announcement is in coordination with USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy’s announcement that the department is investing $237 million to applicants in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Western Pacific.

   “Businesses grow and create more jobs when their energy costs are lower,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

   In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force. 

   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

   USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

   Contact USDA Rural Development

   Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0976Image removed..

   USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri.  Office locations include a State Office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.