Senator Al Franken and Minn. Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer participate in a roundtable meeting on the USDA Rural Energy For America Program.
Throughout the first quarter of 2012, the 47 Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) State Offices held energy stakeholder meetings across the country to discuss ways the Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) can assist agricultural producers and rural businesses with their energy needs. Meeting participants included local lenders, grant writers, small business owners, and local, state and federal government agencies. Read more »
Freeborn Lumber Company owner John Miller and USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer inside the room that operates Freeborn’s geothermal system. The system was installed with support from USDA Rural Development.
John Miller got the call at 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2007.
Freeborn Lumber Company – the business John’s grandfather bought in 1946 and John purchased from his father in 1986 – was burning to the ground. Less than 30 minutes later, the nearly 100-year-old building was destroyed. Lightning struck a phone line next to a gas line and that was it. Firefighters arrived less than five minutes after getting called, but there was nothing they could do. Read more »
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.
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. Read more »
Photovoltaic cells recently installed at Red Caboose Winery in Texas were funded in part by a grant from USDA Rural Development
Red Caboose Winery, a family owned business in Meridian, Texas, was recently selected as a recipient of a USDA Rural Energy for America Program Grant. A $15,617 grant is being used to help lower the energy costs of running the rural winery that produces 10,000 cases of wine annually. Read more »
Colby Creek Stables, a horse stable facility located near Ithaca, Nebraska, in Saunders County offers a number of amenities for horses and riders, including a large indoor arena, heated barn aisles, and ventilated horse stalls. The operation requires a substantial amount of electrical power. Thanks to USDA, the purchase price of that electricity is dropping sharply.
The owners of the stables, Mark and Tara Timm, were interested in renewable energy options to offset the power needs of their operation and to, in the near future, take it off the grid completely. The Timms determined that a combination, or “hybrid application”, of wind and solar power would be most beneficial for their operation. Read more »
Farmer David Fink (left), owner of Heidel Hollow Farms shows State Director Tom Williams, how Rural Energy for America Funding will help reduce his farm’s energy costs.
I recently joined David Fink, at his Heidel Hollow Farm in Germansville. The family-owned, 1600 crop acre hay farm was awarded two USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants totaling $231,230. The grants will be used toward a solar energy project that will provide approximately 252,869 KW of electricity used in the hay compressing operation of the farm. David will also be able to replace one diesel engine with five electric motors, saving over 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. Both projects will significantly reduce the farm’s energy costs. Read more »