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Posts tagged: Rural Energy for America

USDA Official Highlights Federal Programs That Help Create Jobs, Provide Access to Capital in Washington and Oregon

“Show me the money.”  You have heard that phrase, right? Made famous by the 1996 film  Jerry Maguire, we have all probably heard it said a thousand times, and yet, the phrase remains just as valid today.

Owners of rural businesses are asking the same question because finding capital is a major challenge for those who wish to grow and expand, and Lillian Salerno, USDA’s top business development official, met with various business leaders and owners in the Pacific Northwest to offer assistance on job creation and economic growth efforts. Read more »

Renewable Energy Opportunities Discussed at Agriculture Outlook Forum

Speaking before a capacity crowd this morning at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum, a distinguished panel representing three federal agencies and a member of the agricultural media discussed Federal renewable energy policy and its prospects to reduce consumption of imported oil, improve environmental quality and produce new jobs in rural America. Read more »

Vermont Lenders and Service Providers Learn about Access to Capital for Farms and Food

Access to capital for farm and food businesses was the focus of a two-day workshop in December sponsored by the Vermont Farm Viability Program and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The event was supported by the Vermont Agriculture Innovation Center which provides technical assistance to small value added food businesses and producers through a USDA Agriculture Innovation Grant to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Read more »

USDA Rural Energy for America Program Helps A Pennsylvania Farm Produce Solar Energy

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.

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 »

New Wisconsin Solar Energy Project Cuts Power Bill For A Farm Family

Written by Kelly Edwards, USDA Public Information Officer

Wisconsin Rural Development State Director, Stan Gruszynski, was joined by Marlene Mielke from U.S. Senator Kohl’s Office, Suzanne Brault-Pagel from U.S. Senator Russell Feingold’s Office and Adam Warpinski from Congressman Dr. Steve Kagen’s Office, various partners and many members of the community to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the completion of the new solar energy project on Kuehn Acres, a small dairy farm in Egg Harbor.

The day included a formal program where the state director presented Gerald Kuehn, with an Earth Day Award recognizing his initiative and accomplishments successfully acquiring and utilizing alternative energy for his farming operations. Additionally, third graders from the Gibraltar School District participated in an Earth Day Logo Design Contest, had an opportunity to tour the farm and learn about alternative energy and its positive impact on the environment.

“The best leadership is by example. That is the concept that fueled the initiative that started Earth Day 40 years ago, that is why we have singled out the Kuehn Family Farm today,” said Gruszynski.

In 2009, Kuehn Dairy Farm received a grant from USDA Rural Development to help purchase a solar system for their small grain and dairy farm in Door County. Estimated annual energy production is 8,239 kilowatts. Excess energy produced will be sent back to the grid, helping to lower energy costs for area residents. Partners on the project include Lake Michigan Wind and Sun, Wisconsin Focus on Energy, and Wisconsin Public Service Corp.

The Kuehn’s received funds through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which provides loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits.

“If we want a cleaner environment, if we want a sustainable future economically, if we want our young people to be wise in their use of our natural resources, then we must teach by example.  It is the willingness of the Kuehn’s to take action toward a brighter future that we are recognizing and celebrating today,” Gruszynski concluded.

Kuehn Acres Dairy Farm in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, and new solar panels
Kuehn Acres Dairy Farm in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, and new solar panels

Third Graders from Gibraltar, Wisconsin Area Schools meet the Dairy Cows
Third Graders from Gibraltar, Wisconsin Area Schools meet the Dairy Cows

Third Graders from Gibraltar Area Schools in front of the new farm solar panels
Third Graders from Gibraltar Area Schools in front of the new farm solar panels