In January 2012, USDA launched its brand new Energy Web site. The site contains agricultural, economic, and social data on renewable energy to assist stakeholders, public users, state and local government in identifying opportunities, activities and USDA’s projects in renewable energy. The Energy Web information is available through several associated online tools, such as USDA Energy Investment Maps, the Renewable Energy Tool, Energy Matrix, Investment Projects Reports, as well as helpful state links to energy resources within individual states.
Today, USDA is launching an updated version of the Energy Web site. Thanks to suggestions from our users this version 2.0 site will provide new resources; new reporting features and the investment data is current thru August 2012. We appreciate your ongoing comments and suggestions and we look forward to your continuous support to make this website your website for USDA renewable energy. Read more »
As the drought continues today, USDA and other Federal agencies are doing all we can to help farmers, ranchers and communities who have been impacted.
Unfortunately, our tools are limited. Due to inaction by Congress, many parts of the 2008 Farm Bill expired October 1, and other aspects of the law will expire in the coming months.
This brings tremendous uncertainty for rural families – particularly livestock producers who have lost access to disaster programs, and dairy producers who no longer have access to dairy support programs.
The lack of a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill also limits USDA from continuing our record investments in homegrown American energy. Since 2009 USDA has worked hard to ensure that rural America plays a key role in our nation’s energy strategy. Read more »
This solar electric system, funded in part through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program has reduced a Puerto Rican Paint company’s electric bill from $180,000/year to zero.
On September 13, Master Paints & Chemical Corporation located in the Municipality of Guayanila, Puerto Rico realized their goal when they became independent of the use of fossil fuel sources energy.
Master Paint & Chemical Corp is a local rural paint manufacturer that employs 260 people. This company represents one of the main jobs sources in the municipality. In the past, the cost of electricity totaled more than $180,000 annually. Energy savings in this area became a priority to grantee. With the installation of this system, the company will save 100 percent in yearly energy costs. Read more »
A portion of the 1,288 solar panels on 1.5 acres, which are connected to a 250 kW inverter to produce an estimated 600,000 kW hours of alternating current each year at the Forest Service’s San Dimas Technology Development Center. (Recsolar photo)
About 25 miles east of Los Angeles, the Forest Service’s San Dimas Technology Development Center is ready to start operations using a photovoltaic array to supply the buildings there with a potential 600,000 kilowatt hours of current each year.
“This system has made the San Dimas Center a ‘net-zero energy’ facility, the first in the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” explained Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell. “This means the facility produces more renewable energy per year than the total energy used by the facility.” Read more »
Students at Barack Obama Elementary School, near St. Louis, learn about healthy food choices through gardening.
Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development Judith Canales recently had the opportunity to visit Missouri’s new Barack Obama Elementary School located in a suburb of St. Louis. The school district has started the Barack Obama Elementary Healthy Food Pilot Project where the objective is to serve a healthier school breakfast and lunch menu. As part of this pilot project, the Farm to School Program is being incorporated to bring in more locally grown produce. The elementary school has also created a school garden in partnership with community members, community-based organizations, and a local community gardening group. It appears that they are on the right track! Read more »
Late last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack went to Omaha, Nebraska to discuss the President’s “All of the above” energy strategy, and meet with wind energy and rural development officials. Speaking to members of the American Coalition for Ethanol, he said that while the drought is severe and the Obama Administration is moving to help affected farmers and ranchers, we won’t know the impact of this drought until harvest time – but we do know that working together, we will get through this challenge.
The Secretary noted that Nebraska has been hit hard by drought. Today, USDA declared an additional 172 additional counties across the United States as primary natural disaster areas due to drought – and as of today, all of the State of Nebraska is covered by primary or contiguous disaster designations for drought.
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