COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 24, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Jonathan McCracken today announced USDA is investing $231,702 in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across Ohio.
“Climate change impacts all of us, no matter where we live,” said McCracken. “Today’s project announcements will save consumers money on their energy bills, improve air quality, and help reduce carbon emissions. There are countless challenges that rural communities face, but Rural Development is dedicated to increasing investment and protecting the quality of life in rural areas.”
These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. For example, the Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support the expansion of biofuels and help rural businesses and electric cooperatives transition to renewable energy and zero-emission systems.
The investments will help state local government entities purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. They also will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems as well as make energy efficiency improvements.
- Athens County will use a $50,000 grant to purchase a force feed loader. This force feed loader will be used for a variety of clean up and maintenance purposes throughout the county. The existing equipment has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. This will benefit the community by allowing the county to effectively maintain public roadways and facilities for residents, visitors, and commercial users.
- In Monroeville, Ohio, E-Z Way Farms will use a $20,000 grant to make energy-efficiency improvements. They will replace an existing grain dryer with a new GSI TopDri grain dryer, saving 60 percent of the current energy used. This energy-efficiency improvement is also expected to be equivalent to 272,426 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the amount typically used by 25 U.S. homes, and reduces the business expenses $38,139, savings they can invest back into their operations
- In Hocking County, Ohio, Jack Pine Studios will use a $15,118 grant to make energy-efficiency improvements to their operations. Jack Pine Studios, a blown glass manufacturer, will use this grant to install a 31.82-kilowatt roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system that will supply a portion of the electricity required to operate their studio in Laurelville, Ohio. This energy-efficiency improvement is expected to produce 38,510 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the amount typically used by four average U.S. homes, and reduces the business expenses $5,391, savings they can invest back into their operations.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/oh. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.