Trump Administration Invests Nearly $1.7 Million in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements to Help Rural Iowans Lower Energy Costs

Grant Menke
Des Moines
Release Date
Aug 27, 2020

Investment to Benefit 96 Farmers, Small Businesses, and Ag Producers

The Trump Administration, along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Iowa Grant Menke, today announced that the USDA is awarding a total of $1,684,647 in grants to rural Iowa farmers, ag producers, small businesses and institutions. (PDF, 245 KB)

“By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency through the REAP program, USDA Rural Development helps boost the bottom lines of rural small businesses and agricultural producers,” said Menke.  “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural businesses and farmers to increase productivity and prosperity, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is investing in 96 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Iowa through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits, installing renewable energy systems, and to make energy efficiency improvements.  Listed below are examples of how Iowa farmers, ag producers, and rural business owners are making investments in their operations through REAP:

  • Luther College, located in Decorah, Ia., will use a $89,288 grant to conduct approximately 50 energy audits for rural small businesses and ag producers throughout 11 counties in Iowa and Minnesota, providing analysis and recommendations to make energy-efficiency improvements.
  • Teri Vorthmann, a local farm operator in Henderson, Ia., will use a $38,000 grant to purchase and install a 204-kW solar system. The system will save the farm $15,930 per year and replace 200,920 kWh (100%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 18 homes.
  • Baldwin-Nashville Telephone Company, Inc., a locally owned telephone company in Baldwin, Ia., will use a $22,500 grant to purchase and install a 42-kW solar array. This will save the business $8,710 per year and replace 58,843 kWh (92%) per year.
  • Little Cedar Family Farms, LLC is a farming business that raises grain near Hillsboro, Ia. A $16,500 grant will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of a grain dryer. The purchase will save the business $6,442 per year in savings and replace 124,375 kWh (53%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 11 homes.
  • PRKG 368, LLC operates a hog confinement facility in Le Mars, Ia.  The business will use a $16,279 grant to purchase and install a 46-kW solar array, saving $9,626 per year and replacing 59,734 kWh (66%) per year.

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

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development office.

If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit Iowa's GovDelivery subscriber page .