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Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements to Help Farmers, Rural Businesses and Ag Producers Lower Energy Costs

Name
Alec Lloyd
City
East Lansing
Release Date
Aug 19, 2019

Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.

   Lowering energy costs helps rural businesses improve their bottom line and create jobs,” Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in America’s rural communities through strong partnerships because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

   Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks.

  “These investments are another way USDA is helping to strengthen the rural economy,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen.

   Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar.  Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Listed below are a few examples of how farmers, rural business owners and institutions are making investments in their operations through REAP.

Michigan’s recipients are:

County

Recipient

Amount

Purpose

Allegan

US 131 Motorsports Park, Inc.

$20,000

Lighting Upgrades

Antrim

Providence Farm, LLC

$18,375

Installing a Solar Array System

Antrim

White Birch Lodge, LLC

$11,825

Installing a Solar Array System

Calhoun

Jerry Allan Motz

$5,530

Installing a Solar Array System

Cass

Kevin Hershberger

$14,448

Upgrading Grain Dryer

Clinton

Motz View Farms, LLC

$12,359

Installing a Solar Array System

Eaton

Country Mill Farms, LLC

$18,750

Installing a Solar Array System

Gratiot

Avenue A Properties, LLC

$20,000

Installing a Solar Array System

Gratiot

Haynes Farms, LLC

$20,000

Installing a Solar Array System

Gratiot

Todd Haynes

$20,000

Installing a Solar Array System

Ingham

Williamston Innovation, LLC

$5,390

Upgrades to Lighting and Heating System

Isabella

Terry Persells

$3,934

Installing a Solar Array System

Jackson

H&O Industrial Properties, LLC

$20,000

Lighting Upgrades

Jackson

Two Tracks Acres, LLC

$7,849

Installing a Solar Array System

Kalamazoo

Jonathan L. Stermer

$15,250

Upgrading Grain Dryer

Kent

Fruit Ridge Apple Co., LLC

$20,000

Installing a Solar Array System

Montcalm

Korsons Tree Farms, Inc.

$7,469

Installing a Solar Array System

St. Clair

Mark Donald Heidt

$12,100

Installing a Solar Array System

Tuscola

Darwin S. Hecht

$20,000

Upgrading Grain Dryer

Washtenaw

Golden Limousine, Inc.

$15,971

Lighting Upgrades

 

   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. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone 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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.