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Success Stories

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Working Together for Change on Spruce Head Island: Maine Oyster Company Goes Green with REAP Grant

Entrepreneurs must weigh every potential expense carefully. This is certainly true for Krista Tripp, owner of a lobster business and commercial oyster farm on Sprucehead Island, ME. Her company, Aphrodite Oysters, markets its fresh seafood directly to consumers and through area… [Read More]
State Director Julia Hnilicka smiles at local business owner Henry Krull as he bags up lettuce and explains hydroponic farming.

Green energy: photovoltaic array powers growth of Alaskan produce business

During a good year, Alaska’s outdoor growing season is three months for most lettuces and herbs, so providing greens for a community year-round is a feat in itself. Doing so sustainably is another challenge entirely! In 2018, innovator Henry Krull and his family decided to… [Read More]
Image of Ginsberg family at Moonshot Farm

Geothermal Technology Helps Couple Make Year-Round Cut Flower Farm a Reality

Taking their chance on a lifelong dream, former urban dwellers Rebecca and Mark Ginsberg traded their conventional city lifestyle for rural living, establishing a cut flower farm. For the New Jersey couple it felt like a moonshot, but they believed they could do it. Initially,… [Read More]
Freund's Farm shares information on renewable energy project

Replacing a Relic to Keep a Community Market Growing Strong

Connecticut’s Farmington River has long been known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities but has recently gained some renown as the state’s oldest archaeological site. While artifacts uncovered on the banks near Avon offer insights into the lives of ice age… [Read More]
Renewable Lubricants CEO Bill Garmier stands in front of barrels of Lubricant Products

REAP Adds Another Level of Sustainability to Bio-based Business

After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bill Garmier returned to Ohio with nothing but starting a family farm on his mind. For years, his family would plant and harvest corn and soybeans, but when the market began to change Garmier knew he needed to find an additional source of… [Read More]
Smiling woman standing in a shop with honey and honey-themed products on shelves on the walls and on racks.

Entrepreneurs and RD: a Match Meant to Bee

Mark and Linda Graf have a crew of over 400,000 bees in over 100 hives working for them near Emerson, Nebraska. The Buzz, their store on Main Street, sells local honey and related products.   The Grafs are shining examples of entrepreneurship in rural America. Linda describes… [Read More]
Fulton Business Solar Panels

Going Solar in Fulton

Fulton is a small town in Missouri and the largest city in Callaway County, with a population of about 13,000 people. But for many rural towns, identifying and securing solar incentives can be a challenge. RD’s Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems &… [Read More]
Homegrown Hideaways is a lodging facility that went solar with a REAP grant

REAP Grant Helps Rural Farming Business Go Solar

Homegrown HideAways is more than just a farm. Located in the Appalachians of Berea, Kentucky, the 100-acre holler welcomes more than 2,000 guests per year and has more than a dozen listings on Airbnb. When Jessa Turner and her partner opened the center, they had plans of adding… [Read More]
Geoff Marietta solar panels

East Kentucky entrepreneur uses solar power to significantly cut power costs

Geoff Marietta found out just how expensive it can be to heat a 12,000-square-foot, 100-plus-year-old building. The building, located on the corner of 2nd and Main streets in downtown Corbin, Kentucky, sat vacant from 2005 until Marietta bought it in 2017. He immediately… [Read More]
Members of the Real Pickle Co-op stand on the roof of the building next to the new solar panels on a sunny day. Many are wearing coats and it looks chilly outside.

Solar: It’s a “Big Dill” for Real Pickles Cooperative

As USDA Rural Development (RD) highlights National Cooperative Month, one worker owned co-op in Massachusetts stands out as a model for sustainability, collaboration, and local food system resiliency. The saying goes “it’s not easy being green.” But for Real Pickles in… [Read More]