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USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad, Senator Booker announce Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants in New Jersey

Derek VanHorn
Mount Laurel, NJ
Release Date

CEDARVILLE, NJ, August 30, 2023 – Today, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad and New Jersey State Director Jane Asselta welcomed U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to announce grants awarded to recipients through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). More than $3.3 million in funding was awarded to 17 New Jersey rural small business and agricultural producers to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will lower their energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of their operation.

“Supporting renewable energy and energy-saving systems helps the people of rural America create thriving, livable communities,” said Farah Ahmad, USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development. “These initiatives are critical to the future of our economy, and the grants announced in New Jersey demonstrate how the Inflation Reduction Act lowers energy costs and provides clean, reliable energy that ultimately keeps more income in the hands of businesses and producers.”

Senator Booker spoke on the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and delivered announcements to attending recipients at Eastern Fresh Growers Inc., which received $958,809 in funding to install a ground mounted solar array that will lower the farm’s energy use by more than 100 percent annually. The farm operates as a wholesale produce sales company which sources produce from their farm and other local farms. Produce is packed at their facility in Cedarville, which employs over 100 personnel. Following the announcements, attendees toured the farm’s facilities and met with employees.

USDA Rural Development New Jersey State Director Jane Asselta said “Hearing firsthand that the nearly $1 million grant funding will help Eastern Fresh Growers more quickly recoup their investment and offset nearly all their energy costs is important in appreciating the impact of President Biden’s economic agenda to strengthen our economy and invest in rural businesses. New Jersey’s farmers and rural small businesses have several more opportunities to apply for grant funding so they can save on their energy costs too.”

Additional REAP recipients in New Jersey included:

Linwood Solar, LLC. - $563,734

Achristavest Pier6600, LLC. - $92,120

Burke Brothers, Inc.- $129,120

Burke Chevrolet Buick, GMC Service & Parts - $186,320

Jessie Creek Winery, LLC. – $39,800

Kull Auto Sales, Inc. – $98,590

Leslie C. Rea Farm, Inc. - $31,967

Mahalo Diamond Beach, LLC. - $106,400

Pineland Recycling, LLC. - $26,000

Windrift Avalon, LLC. - $127,160

Four Seasons Campground, Inc. - $176,000

Wysocki Electric, Inc. - $64,000

Cotton Cattle Company - $96,000

Beneduce Vineyards, LLC. - $150,400

Bousum Neely Partnership - $276,400REAP

MWM Properties Montville, LLC. - $224,000

REAP funding is supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, which helps reduce energy costs for families and creates thousands of jobs for people across rural America. Nationally, USDA is investing $266 million in 1,334 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The Department expects to make additional awards in the coming months.

USDA Rural Development funds projects in New Jersey under the leadership of its state office staff located in Mt. Laurel and supported by offices located in Hackettstown, Columbus, and Vineland. For information on REAP in New Jersey, please reach out to Stephanie Bouchelle at stephanie.bouchelle@usda.gov. Please visit our state website or follow us on Twitter for additional information.