U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Success Stories

“This is Home” – A Family Finds Their Forever Home in Calais, Maine

One of the first rooms Heather Gagne and her daughters began redecorating in their new home is the dining room, shown in the top photo. They have been busy repainting and making other updates. Raising a family in coastal Machias, Maine may sound lovely, but for Heather Gagne recent years proved stressful. There were few housing options in their Downeast community, and Heather was glad to find a rental home to…

Find Stories

Use the filters below to find additional stories about how our programs have helped rural communities across the nation.

Search Results: 11 Stories
The Climate Fellow described in the story is pictured at an outdoor table interacting with a community member who is reading a pamphlet she shows him. There is a blue building, a Mount Desert Island School bus, and trees in the background. The event pictured is in a parking lot, with balloons in the near background.

Impact Beyond Measure: Maine Nonprofit Builds Climate Resilience and the Leaders of Tomorrow with RCDI Grant from USDA

Where can residents of small coastal and island communities in Maine turn for help with critical, labor-intensive projects? Residents of the Mount Desert Island town of Tremont recently worked with Island Institute Fellow… [Read More]
Doug Goyings stands in front of the solar array that is cutting energy costs on his family grain farm in NW Ohio.

Ohio Grain Farm Gets Positive “Jolt” From Solar Energy Grant

North of town just beyond the “Welcome to Paulding” sign, Goyings Farms, with its towering array of grain storage bins, is hard to miss. Roots run deep into the Ohio soil on this rural grain production farm, and on a warm spring day Doug Goyings reflects with pride about how… [Read More]
Man holding two bottles of wine in front of Black Mesa Winery sign

New Mexico Winery Harnesses Sun’s Power to Make Wine and Cider

As you drive north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, through Velarde, it might be easy to miss the small vineyard nestled in the middle of Black Mesa. If you stop in, though, you will have the opportunity to taste wine flavored with local choke cherries, prickly pear fruit from the… [Read More]
Molly and Jesse of Piper Mountain Christmas Trees stand in front of a vintage blue pickup truck with their two children. In the background there is a red barn and a distant hill.

Beginning Farmers Use REAP Grant to Make Their Christmas Tree Farm Greener

Molly Livingston and Jesse Jimerson were living in Northern Nevada while looking for an opportunity to get into farming. When they heard that Piper Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Newburgh, Maine was for sale, they were interested. The farm had been in business since 1978 and… [Read More]
Molly and Everett pose with dog Cricket in front of their barn with the solar panels on the roof.

REAP Helps Nettie Fox Farm Step Away from Fossil Fuels

Nestled in the gently rolling hills of Newburgh, Maine, Nettie Fox Farm produces certified organic vegetables. Molly Crouse founded the farm in 2009. In 2013 her partner, Everett Ottinger, joined her in operating the 33-acre spread. They began steadily increasing the… [Read More]
For Benjamin Barnett, a seven-year farmer, in Waynesboro, Pa., he decided to pivot his farming operation from boarding horses to dairy. Like many farmers he decided to invest in his farm through the Rural Energy for America program. The project is expected to save the farm approximately $5,500 per year and will replace 50,148 kWh per year, enough to power four homes in Franklin County.

Farmers Are Reaping the Benefits of Solar in Pennsylvania

You can view a video of the project on our YouTube channel. The pandemic and subsequential inflation forced many farmers to find ways to keep their businesses viable. For Benjamin Barnett, a seven-year farmer and owner of Marsh Run… [Read More]
Owner Brett Hayes surveys newly installed solar panels on the roof of the Zeus Digital Theater.

Waynesboro Movie Theater Brings Solar Power to the Big Screen

Hundreds of local residents and visitors gather at Waynesboro’s Zeus Digital Theater each week to view the latest theatrical releases on eight big screens, never realizing that they are being transported to other worlds via the power of the sun. A 241kw system perched high atop… [Read More]
A photo of a man and a woman holding packages of cheese and smiling is inset against a photo of a long driveway bordered by trees and fields with a "cattle crossing" sign on the right side.

VAPG Provides a Buffer for a Maine Organic Creamery

Co-owners of Balfour Farm in Pittsfield, Heather and Doug Donahue have adapted to many changes as dairy farmers. First, they switched careers and began farming in 2004. They learned about farming and experimented with different breeds. Next came a move a move from New York to… [Read More]
Bob Threewitts standing in front of his ground-mounted solar panels

Solar Switch Proves Profitable for Rockingham County Poultry Producer

Bob Threewitts raises heavy broilers in one of the top poultry producing and processing regions of the U.S., so he knows a thing or two about making his operation more productive and profitable. The solar panels he installed a little over two years ago check both boxes and will… [Read More]
Senator Angus King stands at a podium bearing the seal of the City of Biddeford. Sean Tarpey stands to the right in the photo, holding an award signifying Saco Bay Marine's REAP grant. In the background are 2 electric boats and a larger boat in the far background.

From Black to Green: A Biddeford, Maine boat yard on the site of a former coal-burning energy plant turns to solar energy for the future

Saco Bay Marine LLC is a Maine company with deep roots. It is the corporate parent of Rumery’s Boat Yard, founded more than 60 years ago on the Saco River in Biddeford. Now owned by Sean Tarpey, the company offers boat storage,… [Read More]