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Grants Available to Organizations that Assist Montana Ag Producers in Applying for Renewable Energy Funding

Mark McCann
Release Date

Bozeman, Mont., Feb. 20, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in Montana acting state director Jake Ceartin announced today that organizations with capacity to provide assistance to agricultural producers applying for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants can now apply for funding to facilitate these efforts.

“Agricultural producers are the backbone of rural and Tribal economies in Montana but conceivably are at a disadvantage because they lack the capacity to access funding from programs like REAP,” said Ceartin. “This investment underscores USDA’s continued commitment to rural small businesses by giving them the tools to access funding that will help them continue to grow and remain assets to their communities.”

The REAP Technical Assistance (TA) Grants Program funds organizations to support farmers and small business owners that apply for federal funds to install renewable energy systems. This program works together with REAP to create new economic opportunities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make energy more affordable for rural and Tribal small businesses and agricultural producers.   

Today, USDA is making $16 million available through the REAP TA Grants Program. Eligible recipients include state, Tribal or local governments, universities, electric cooperatives, utility companies, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Late last year, USDA Rural Development awarded $500,000 through this program to two Montana organizations:

The Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena received a $250,000 REAP TA grant and will partner with 11 Montana Food and Agricultural Development Centers (FADCs) to provide direct technical assistance (TA) to agricultural producers and small businesses in distressed and disadvantaged rural and Tribal communities.  

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in Butte received a $250,000 REAP TA grant to work with three development organizations in the state and provide outreach and direct technical assistance to applicants on Native American reservations. The expected outcome will improve operational economic sustainability through increased energy savings.

During the last fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2023, Montana awarded more than $2.8 million in Rural Energy for America Program grants to 50 rural small businesses and agricultural producers so they could make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems.

This year’s REAP TA applications must be submitted by 9:59 p.m. Mountain Time on March 15, 2024. For additional information and submission details, see page 12815 of the February 20, 2024, Federal Register.

To learn more about the REAP TA grant program in Montana, contact Daniel Layton, Rural Business and Cooperative Services program specialist, at daniel.layton@usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development provides grants, loans, and loan guarantees to support infrastructure improvements, business development, affordable housing, community facilities, and expand high-speed internet access in rural and Tribal areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.  


                                                                               USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural and Tribal areas in Montana, call (406) 585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.