Investment to Help 28 Small Businesses and Ag Producers Lower Energy Costs
ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 9, 2020 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced that USDA is investing $558,552 to make energy efficiency improvements and reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions in rural Minnesota.
“By improving the energy efficiency of farms and businesses, energy expenses are decreased and new opportunities for improvement are created elsewhere,” said Finstad. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural Minnesota in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
In Atwater, Minnesota, family farm owner Dean Summerlet will use a $42,625 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer that will save the farm $50,362 per year and will replace 1.2 million kWh (80%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 110 homes.
In rural Wright County, Intex Corporation will use a $14,448 grant to purchase and install an energy optimization system for the existing generator of the family-owned asphalt and cement crushing business. These improvements will help save the business $20,592 per year and will replace 335,238 kWh (8%), which is enough energy to power 31 homes.
In Stevens County, family farm owner Jarrod Asmus will use an $11,481 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer that will save the farm $16,887 per year and will replace 338,676 kWh (62%) per year, which is enough energy to power 31 homes.
In rural Zumbrota, Minnesota, family-owned crop farm Lodermeier Farms LLC will use a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer that will save the farm $10,923 per year and will replace 220,417 kWh (46%), which is enough energy to power 20 homes.
In Otter Tail County, family farm owner Michael Haarstad will use a $29,975 grant to purchase and install a new grain dryer that will save the farm $30,052 per year and will replace 589,885 kWh (51%), which is enough energy to power 54 homes.
USDA is investing in 28 rural small businesses and ag producers through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants and Guaranteed Loans. Investments can used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems, insulation, lighting and refrigeration. REAP funding can also be used for energy audits and for renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar.
Interested parties should contact their local Minnesota area office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/onerdguarantee to learn more about how the REAP Guaranteed Loan Program will be streamlined under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative beginning October 1, 2020.
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/mn.
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