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The Legend Grows – South Dakota Seed Company Saves Big Bucks with Biomass

As the team at Legend Seeds of De Smet, South Dakota, gears up for spring and the 2012 growing season, they do so from a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art facility, located just east of their former space on Highway 14.  The new office, seed lab and expanded warehouse space were designed to better accommodate the additional full-time office staff needed to support the stretching trade area and growing field staff for the Legend organization. Thanks to a USDA program, the building is also energy efficient.

USDA Business & Cooperative Program Director Dana Kleinsasser(left), Area Specialist Darlene Bresson, and Legend Seeds President Glen Davis check out the biomass boiler system, which saves 60 percent of the cost of heating the seed company building, compared to the previous system.

USDA Business & Cooperative Program Director Dana Kleinsasser(left), Area Specialist Darlene Bresson, and Legend Seeds President Glen Davis check out the biomass boiler system, which saves 60 percent of the cost of heating the seed company building, compared to the previous system.

The former office space that was purchased in 1992 had been remodeled and updated over the years but Legend owner, Glen Davis, recognized that the increasing demand for productivity would be best met if he augmented the workspace and workflow for his talented team.  In addition to a fresh contemporary look and serviceable layout, the new space boasts an impressive, highly-efficient heating and cooling system powered by a 250,000 BTU biomass boiler.

Using the biomass boiler accomplished two goals – to reduce energy usage and to reduce the amount of carry-over corn that was going to the local landfill.  Typically, renewable energy, such as the biomass boiler, carry large up-front installation costs.  But with the assistance of the Rural Energy for America program (REAP) from USDA Rural Development, Legend Seeds received a grant for 25 percent of the boiler cost.  With the boiler, Legend’s energy bill is projected to be reduced by nearly 60 percent, and the cost to dispose of waste corn will decline also – a win-win situation.

“The funding provided by REAP has been not only a help in construction of the new office’s heating system but also the advice and support has been valuable in completing the entire project,” said Glen Davis, president of Legend Seeds.

Seed company President Glen Davis explains to Business & Cooperative Program Director Dana Kleinsasser how the USDA-funded boiler heats the facility, saving 60 percent of the cost of energy.

Seed company President Glen Davis explains to Business & Cooperative Program Director Dana Kleinsasser how the USDA-funded boiler heats the facility, saving 60 percent of the cost of energy.

USDA is currently accepting applications for Rural Energy for America funding, but the deadline for some applications is rapidly approaching.  To find out more, call your State Rural Development office or click here.  To read more about how REAP has been used to reduce energy costs across America, click here.

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