USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented brothers, Aaron and Elan Silverblatt-Buser the owners of Silverleaf Family Farms with a certificate of completion for the installation of a new solar photovoltaic system.
USDA Rural Development provided a grant in the amount of $4,522 which was used to offset the cost of building an $18,090 solar power system at their Corrales, New Mexico farm. The financial support was made through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) program. Congress created the REAP program to help farmers, ranchers and small rural businesses access loan guarantees and grant funds to purchase renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. The REAP program is not available for residential use and is only available for businesses in communities of less than 50-thousand people, however there is no population limit for ag producers wanting to apply for this program.
During the presentation, Brunner said, "This project is a good example of the Obama administration’s commitment to help the small farmer and small rural business owner become more energy efficient.” Brunner added, “In the long run this project will help the environment through the use of clean energy and will help Silverleaf farms save money and become more profitable.”
The Silverleaf Family Farm applied for the REAP funds to offset the cost of purchasing and installing an $18,090 6.1 kW photovoltaic array system for the farm. Now that the solar power system is operating it has replaced thirty-three percent of the farms energy usage.
For those rural businesses, ranching and farming operations interested in accessing information on the REAP program visit USDA’s new energy website at: www.usda.gov/energy or call the Rural Development State Office in Albuquerque at 505-761-4957.
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.