Support comes from USDA’s rural energy program to help farmers and rural business owners reduce their costs by providing grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representatives Collin Peterson, Rick Nolan, and Tom Emmer, announced $14,644,054 to help Minnesota farmers lower energy costs and boost renewable energy. The support comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP helps farmers and rural business owners reduce their costs by providing grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
“The Rural Energy for America Program provides Minnesota’s farmers with the ability to make energy-efficiency improvements that help our environment and rural communities,” Klobuchar said. “This critical program helps support our agricultural economy by promoting greater energy savings and boosting renewable energy. That’s why I fought to expand the REAP program in the 2014 Farm Bill.”
“One in five Minnesota jobs is tied to agriculture, which is why supporting rural businesses and communities is so important to our state’s overall economic success,” Franken said. “I was proud to help write the energy section of the 2014 Farm Bill, which included strong funding for REAP. In the past several weeks, my office has met with farmers, rural businesses, and community leaders across the state who have saved money and cut their energy use by using REAP, and we also heard how we can improve the program in the next Farm Bill so more producers and rural businesses can benefit. We need to be doing more of this.”
“Assisting farmers and rural businesses in their efforts to improve energy efficiency and install renewable energy systems will have a positive impact on the rural economy,” Peterson said. “The REAP program is an important resource for our farmers and small businesses and I will continue to advocate for its inclusion in future farm bills.”
“Here in Minnesota’s Eighth District, our rural economy depends on a strong agriculture industry,” Nolan said. “These grants and loan guarantees will support our farmers and rural business owners by helping them reduce costs with renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.”
"Creating renewable energy sources here at home not only removes our dependence on foreign sources, but invests in our own nation’s prosperity and its small businesses, which are the engines that fuel our future economic growth," Emmer said.
For more information about the grant program and this year’s Minnesota recipients, click here.