REAP MONEY: Funding For Renewable Energy Projects
As part of the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, National Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for 450 renewable energy projects Monday. Eight of those projects are right here in Iowa.
If that number seems a little low, talk to Iowa’s USDA Rural Development Director Bill Menner.
“Iowa did very well,” Menner said. “Iowa traditionally does very well in this program.”
REAP began with 2008′s farm bill. In past years Iowa has been awarded up to 40% of the funds for rural development grants and loans, but Menner said other states have caught up to Iowa’s renewable energy investments, which is not only good for rural America, but also the country as a whole. Renewable energy was an integral part of this year’s awards to Iowa producers.
“Some of the awards this week went to row crop producers who made investments in highly energy-efficient grain dryers, but there was also an ag producer who made an investment in a wind turbine. So that producer will be generating energy from that turbine [and] at the end of the day, saving money for his operation.”
Menner’s work extends to community projects, such as the current construction of a transportation museum in Algona, as well as helping people find housing in rural areas both by direct loans and loan guarantees through rural banks.
You can find the complete list of REAP recipients here.