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USDA Rural Development in Iowa Accepting Applications for Climate Change Fellowships to Help Farmers and Rural Small Businesses Access Clean Energy Funds

Cecilia Lynch
Release Date

Two Fellowship Positions for Iowa; Forty Positions Available Nationwide

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 22, 2023 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Iowa Theresa Greenfield today announced that the Agency is hiring two Climate Change Fellows in Iowa to help with the record number of applications from farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses seeking funding for clean energy projects under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). USDA is hiring a total of 40 Climate Change Fellows nationwide.                           

“Iowa ag producers and small business owners are investing in clean energy systems through the REAP program. Their investments are climate smart and will lower their energy costs,” said Director Greenfield. “These non-partisan positions will help handle the renewable energy portfolio within Rural Development. The Biden-Harris Administration is working to lower energy costs for Iowans.” Audio: MP3, 26 seconds, 224KB. Transcript.

The new positions are being funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis. The positions are part of the USDA Climate Change Fellows Program, which hires new staff with a range of skills to carry out USDA’s activities to address climate change and find solutions to agricultural challenges, enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers and producers.


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.

Three of the new positions will report to USDA Rural Development’s national office. To apply, visit this USA Jobs posting.

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.

To apply for a position in one of these states, visit this USA Jobs posting. To apply for a position in Puerto Rico, visit this USA Jobs posting.

Initial appointments may be for up to two years. Additional one-year extensions may be made up to four years. Most states will receive additional funds, announced at a later date, to provide REAP technical assistance in addition to these staffing positions.

Background: Inflation Reduction Act

As a core pillar of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in climate action in history. It is also the largest single investment in rural electrification since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

The Biden-Harris Administration championed the Inflation Reduction Act to help provide new funding and unprecedented incentives to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. It is lowering energy costs, bringing opportunity to communities across America and tackling the climate crisis through investments in agriculture, forest restoration and rural communities.

REAP 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.

Contact USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.3 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.