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USDA Invests More Than $6.4 Million to Help Ohio Rural Business Owners and Farmers Lower Energy Costs, Generate Income and Expand Operations

Heather Stacy
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Ohio State Director Jonathan McCracken today announced that USDA is awarding more than $6.4 million in loans and grants to help agricultural producers and rural small business owners make energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments to lower energy costs, generate new income and strengthen the resiliency of their operations.

This funding is made possible in part by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis. It also advances the President’s Investing in America agenda to grow the nation’s economy from the middle-out and bottom up.

“President Biden and USDA are ensuring farmers and small businesses in rural Ohio are at the front lines of the clean energy economy,” McCracken said. “The more than $6 million of investments announced today will create jobs in rural Ohio, expand access to renewable energy infrastructure, and save people money on their energy bills.”

The Department is awarding the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The investments are helping to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and build a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make rural communities more resilient.

For example:

  • Wooster Hydrostatics Inc. is receiving a grant to purchase an energy efficient High Energy Test Stand with energy produced offsetting nearly 85 percent of their annual energy consumption. Wooster Hydrostatics operates a hydraulic pump and motor manufacturing business in Wooster, Ohio. This energy efficiency purchase is expected to generate 154,073 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, the amount typically used by 15 U.S. homes and reduces their business expenses by $13,386.
  • Berlin Gardens LLC will use a grant to help purchase and install a 604-kilowatt (kW) roof mounted solar array with energy produced offsetting nearly 118 percent of the business's annual energy consumption. Berlin Gardens LLC, in the heart of Amish Country, Ohio, manufactures handcrafted outdoor poly furniture. This renewable energy installation is expected to generate 625,975 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, the amount typically used by 61 U.S. homes and reduces the business expenses $104,416, savings they can invest back into their operations.
  • McChesney Farms Inc., a family-owned-and-operated 3,200-acre farm in Edison, Ohio, is receiving a grant to help purchase and install an energy-efficient grain dryer. The project is expected to save the business $11,539 annually, enabling investment back into business operations, and generate 1,184,891 kilowatt hours (kWh) (54 percent), enough energy to power 109 homes.

Background: Inflation Reduction Act 

As a core pillar of Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act makes the largest investment in climate action in history and is lowering energy costs, bringing opportunity to communities across America and tackling the climate crisis through investments in agriculture, forest restoration, and rural communities.

Since December 2022, USDA has made up to $1.3 billion available in REAP funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligible applicants include rural small business owners and agricultural producers. The program is part of the Justice40 Initiative, which is working to ensure that 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments reach communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Administration is delivering on its promise to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across America.

For more information on the Inflation Reduction Act, visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/inflation-reduction-act.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.