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Klobuchar, Franken: USDA Now Accepting Applications for REAP Grants to Help Minnesota Farmers Lower Energy Costs, Boost Renewable Energy

Minnesota farmers received $560,000 in grants through USDA’s rural energy program in 2014 for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects

Friday, January 23, 2015

Klobuchar successfully fought to provide an additional $100 million for REAP in the 2014 Farm Bill; Franken helped write the energy section of the 2014 Farm Bill, including reauthorization of REAP

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants to help Minnesota farmers lower energy costs and boost renewable energy. Minnesota farmers received $560,000 in grants through USDA's rural energy program in 2014 for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Klobuchar successfully fought to provide an additional $100 million for REAP in the 2014 Farm Bill. Franken helped write the energy section of the 2014 Farm Bill, including reauthorization of REAP.

"Minnesota's farmers and rural communities are the backbone of our state's economy," Klobuchar said. "I fought to expand the REAP program in the 2014 Farm Bill, and I encourage Minnesota farmers and small business owners to take advantage of this program by applying for a grant or loan to help cut their energy costs."

"When Minnesota farmers and rural communities deploy renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects, it lowers their overall energy costs and makes our country more energy secure," Franken said. "As co-author of the Farm Bill's energy section, I was proud to include strong support for the Rural Energy for America Program. These REAP grants will assist in the installation of energy‎ projects, and I urge all Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses who qualify to apply for this important program."

Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped craft the 2014 Farm Bill and served on the conference committee responsible for negotiating the final version of the legislation. The five-year bill passed with strong bipartisan support. It reduces the deficit by $23 billion, strengthens the safety net for Minnesota farmers and ranchers, streamlines conservation programs, and supports homegrown energy.

Franken championed several key provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill to help Minnesota's ag communities. He helped author the energy section of the bill—including a reauthorization of REAP—to give Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses the support they need to deploy renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

For more information about how to apply, contact Minnesota's USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator Ron Omann at (651) 602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

 

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