USDA boosts farms with clean energy and fertilizer funding

USAgNet - 04/01/2024

Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a significant move to support American farms and rural businesses. With a $124 million investment funded primarily by administrator Inflation Reduction Act, the USDA aims to lower energy costs, generate new income, and create job opportunities in 44 states. This effort is part of the broader Administration's Investing in America agenda, focusing on clean energy transition and strengthening domestic supply chains.

Most of the funding, over $120 million, is allocated to 541 projects under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). These projects will introduce renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, promoting energy efficiency and addressing climate change impacts. Additionally, the USDA announced funding through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) to enhance domestic fertilizer production, further supporting the agriculture sector's resilience and sustainability.

The investment is expected to generate significant savings and new revenue streams for rural communities, showcasing projects like Darr Grain's wind turbines in Nebraska and Moorit Hill Farm's solar system in Maine. These initiatives are not only economic but also environmental wins, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and contributing to cleaner, more sustainable farming practices.

USDA continues to welcome REAP applications, showing an ongoing commitment to rural development and clean energy. Through these programs, the USDA is laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, competitive, and resilient agricultural future, in line with the Administration's vision for a cleaner, more equitable economy.


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