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Success Stories

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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]
Cape Cod Coffee Shop owners

The Perks of Solar: Sustainability with Every Sip at Cape Cod Coffee

Many people have a passion for coffee. In fact, many of us cannot imagine starting our day without it. But for Pam and Jan Aggerbeck, owners of Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee, Massachusetts, every cup of coffee is a part of their story of sustainability- And an opportunity to give… [Read More]
Two women sitting on a pink bench

Distillery is Making a Splash Mixing Community with Commerce

In the midst of the pandemic, while juggling work, civic leadership and homeschooling, friends Shawna Kelsey and Kristina Boyd decided to double down on their plans to launch Pink Bench Distilling in Troy, Montana.  In early 2020, they acquired a 100-year-old building from a… [Read More]
The Astoria Co-op installed rooftop solar panels to offset its energy use.

Rural Co-op Shines a Light on the Benefits of Solar Energy

Sustainability has been a fundamental tenant of the food cooperative movement since it began, and not only in terms of selling organic, sustainably-harvested food. Co-ops around the country are also turning to renewable energy. For the Astoria Co-op on the Oregon coast, that… [Read More]

New Solar Array Helps Brewery Keep The Lights On

In rural Ord, Nebraska, Scratchtown Brewing Company, LLC is saving nearly 70 percent in energy costs thanks, in part, to a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) renewable energy grant awarded in 2019 to purchase a new 24-kilowatt rooftop solar array. These renewable energy… [Read More]
Bruce Hanna, owner of Hampton Inn and Suites Roseburg, visits solar panels recently installed on hotel roof.

Rural Hotel Reaps Benefits of Going Green

Guests at most hotels never give a second thought to the roof of the building. But at the Hampton Inn and Suites in the rural town of Roseburg, owner Bruce Hanna is encouraging his guests to learn about the significant environmental impacts being generated out of sight on the… [Read More]
East Kentucky Power Cooperative generation map

East Kentucky Biomass Landfill Gas Project Expansion

In 2003, East Kentucky Power Cooperative became the first utility in Kentucky to generate its own renewable power when it began operating its first plant fueled by methane gas from landfills.  Today, East Kentucky has five landfill gas plants.  In 2015, RUS approved a loan which… [Read More]
Chad Mortensen outside his variety store

Energy Efficiency Improvements Increase Longevity of Small Business

Chad Mortensen is a third-generation owner and operator of Marion’s Variety shop and restaurant in Roosevelt, Utah. Chad’s great aunt Marion Mortensen opened the business in 1933 after emigrating from Denmark. Over a span of 36 years Marion changed locations along the main road… [Read More]
Thermal image of a home

Energy Efficiency Loan – Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

The Vermont legislature created an Energy Efficiency Utility named Efficiency Vermont as a full-service utility providing those services to all ratepayers.  Under this structure, utility ratepayers can reduce their energy use by investing in energy improvements for their homes… [Read More]

Milk Trucks Run on Biofuel Generated from Dairy Operation's Waste

Milk Trucks Run on Biofuel Generated from Dairy Operation’s Waste Recognizing the potential for environmental and economic benefits through renewable energy, Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Indiana, is producing more than milk from its 11,000 dairy cows. The dairy’s anaerobic… [Read More]