Grants for Rural Energy and Climate Smart Ag
The USDA says it is making huge investments in rural infrastructure programs and climate-smart adaptability.
Secretary Tom Vilsack:
Vilsack: We’re announcing $633 million being invested in 793 projects impacting all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Vilsack told reporters the investments will go toward 5 key programs focused on energy efficiency, resilience, and biofuel infrastructure. $38 million dollars will be given as grants and another $595 million will be sent out as loans. And the projects range widely in size and scope.
Vilsack: “There’s a hydroponic lettuce farm for example in Florida that’s receiving a grant of $35K to invest in a solar system. But there’s also an $85.7 million loan for a large-scale solar voltaic farm in Illinois which will provide wholesale power to 23 distributive cooperatives in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.”
In Alabama, Headland Peanut Warehouse Coop received a $250k grant while the Murphree Seed Farm received $41k. In Florida, Valdes Poultry received 3 grants totaling nearly $180k. In Georgia, the Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable was awarded a grant of more than $230K.
More than half of the money went to projects proposed through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which helps farmers and small businesses install renewable energy systems or to improve their energy efficiency.