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Following Earth Day, USDA Invests Over $416,000 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural Indiana

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 26, 2022 – Today, following Earth Day 2022, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Indiana Dr. Terry Goodin announced more than $416,000 in climate-smart infrastructure to strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural Indiana.

“Climate change affects rural areas in significant ways, whether that’s an ag producer with damaged crops resulting from life-threatening storms and severe weather or a community in need of a warning siren for the safety of its residents during these same conditions,” Dr. Goodin said. “Throughout the entire month of April, USDA has been celebrating the spirit of Earth Day through events and announcements, like this one today, that highlight the importance and impact climate-smart infrastructure investments. We couldn’t be prouder of the ways that Indiana’s businesses, ag producers and communities are doing their part to reduce our human impact on climate.”

  • Vogler Metalwork & Design Inc., a small rural metal fabrication business, will use a $12,811 Rural Energy for America (REAP) Grant to purchase and install a 24 kilowatt (kW) solar array that will save the business nearly $4,000 in annual electrical costs and replace 33,300 kilowatt hours (kWh) of annual energy produced.
  • Parkman Farms LLC, an agricultural grain producer, will use a $20,000 REAP Grant to purchase and install a 44 kW solar array in three locations. These renewable energy systems will help the ag producer save approximately $7,500 in annual electrical costs and replace nearly 60,000 kWh in annual energy production.  
  • The city of Cannelton, Ind. will use a $120,600 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase two new law enforcement vehicles and a public works truck with maintenance attachments.
  • The town of Patoka, Ind. will use a $101,700 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase a new maintenance vehicle with attachments for seasonal equipment. This vehicle will help the town maintain their community infrastructure for the continued safety of its 735 residents.
  • The city of Oakland City, Ind. will use a $105,300 Community Facilities Disaster Grant to purchase a new street sweeper and a mini excavator. These vehicles will provide appropriate emergency services to the community through proper maintenance of the city streets and sidewalks.

For a complete listing of today’s investments made in Indiana, visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_NR_EarthDay_CHART042222.pdf.

Today’s investments are in coordination with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recent nationwide announcement that the department is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure in: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

[audio actuality of Secretary Vilsack & USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small – 00:00:59.951]

USDA Rural Development is taking several actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change in rural communities nationwide.

Advancing Equity in Rural Communities

USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s key priorities of investing in rural communities to ensure people have equitable access to critical resources and to combat the climate crisis. Investments in these communities will make an impact for generations to come.

Clean Energy Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency Improvements

Through REAP, the Department helps rural businesses and agricultural producers get access to clean energy, while reducing their carbon footprint to make their business operations more cost-effective.

The Electric Program includes funding for smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.

Infrastructure Improvements for Communities Hit by Severe Weather

Through the Community Facilities Disaster Grants program, funds help rural communities purchase emergency response equipment and be better prepared and more resilient in the face of disaster.

Background: Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour

Today’s announcement is also part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, during which Biden Administration officials are traveling to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, as well as President Biden’s broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America. This announcement also furthers the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities. 

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and its federal partners in the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force are working with rural communities to deliver on the promise of support for rural America.

The Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour is a multi-faceted outreach effort involving cabinet and sub-cabinet officials across federal agencies as they travel to and learn from key rural communities. These visits will highlight new federal funding and investments already underway through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a once-in-a-generation investment that will support rural communities and their infrastructure needs.

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/in.

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