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USDA looks to hire climate change fellow in KY

Greg Thomas
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Dr. Tom Carew today announced Kentucky will be one of over 30 states seeking to hire a climate change fellow.

The positions – 40 in total nationwide – are part of the USDA Climate Change Fellows Program and will help with the record numbers of applications for clean energy projects under the Rural Energy for America Program.

“Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve seen about a seven-fold increase in the amount of funding through the Rural Energy for America Program going to ag-producers and rural small businesses to help with clean energy projects,” said Carew. “This funding will help them reduce energy costs and improve their bottom line while addressing climate change. We look forward to adding another member to our team and be able to help even more rural Kentuckians.”

The Inflation Reduction Act provided REAP with $2 billion of funding to meet growing demand from farmers and small business owners looking to expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. So far, USDA has made $1 billion of that available and has seen a dramatic increase in loan and grant applications under the program.

The new term positions will be for up to two years initially. Additional one-year extensions may be made up to four years.

Here’s how the 40 new positions will break down. Two will report to USDA Rural Development’s national office. Two fellows each will be based in Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. One fellow each will be based in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware/Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.

For more information including application instructions, visit the USA Jobs posting.

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.