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Rural Development Saves Nebraskans Energy Dollars

Vicki Schurman
Release Date

Nebraska Rural Development State Director Karl Elmshaeuser announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $203,493 in Nebraska to reduce energy costs for agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

   “The energy projects funded will help to lower energy costs which will improve the recipients’ bottom lines and create jobs,” Elmshaeuser said. “Dollars saved will be available to be reinvested into Nebraska’s economy making it even stronger.”

Nebraska recipients include:

Energy efficiency improvements to buildings:  AJH Land Company LLC-$18,003.

Solar array installation:  Bead Mountain Ranch, Inc.-$6,134; H. Hunter Company-$2,701; Demmel Farms LLC-$3,266; Lincoln Landscaping Company-$12,292; Maple Creek Seeds, LLC-$10,640;
Schuster Ranch, LLC-$2,539.                                                  

Diesel to electric irrigation motor conversion:  Loren Allen-$8,025; Paul D. Andrews-$4,044; Lester Anson-$3,035; Dana Bartak-$4,133; Robert Beelaert-$13,882; Benlee Farms Inc.-$8,325; GVR Family Limited-$16,420; Lyle Heiss-$4,269; Michael E. Heiss-$4,096;Matthew A. Ickes-$ 7,804; L.T. Farms Inc.-$ 9,141; Dale O'Brien-$13,906; Phillip Regier-$ 3,671; and Brent Stagemeyer-$ 7,167.

Grain dryer replacement:  Guy Mills, Jr-$20,000 and Bradley Williams-$20,000.

   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. View the USDA funding list for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costsUSDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks.  

   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.

   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.