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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding To Reduce Energy Costs for Rural Small Businesses

Press Release

Location: Ames, IA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is funding projects to harness wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power to reduce energy costs for farms and small business across rural America. Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O'Brien made the announcement on the Secretary's behalf during his address here today at the Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit (YES).

"The Obama Administration is assisting small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, as they work to reduce their energy costs," O'Brien said. "When energy costs are reduced, American rural businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand and create jobs."

One of the projects announced today will assist Hawkeye Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Cresco, Iowa, to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in its headquarters building. Coon Valley Turkeys, LLC, in Lake View, Iowa, is receiving funding to install a wind turbine to offset the cost of electricity. Gary Larson of Underwood, Iowa, will receive assistance to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in a shop that services his farming operations.

The YES event is sponsored by USDA Rural Development, the Community Vitality Center (CVC), Iowa State University's Extension, Outreach Community and Economic Development along with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Below is a complete list of funding recipients announced today:


Sea Lion Corp. $50,000 grant Wind project


Avalanche Ranch $300,000 grant Geothermal generation


Putnam Green Power $275,000 grant Hydro electric


Blake Organic Farms $5,230 grant Feed Mill energy project

CPU Property Management $12,667 grant Geothermal

Don Johnston Construction $15,937 grant Wind generation

E-4 Sons Company $7,171 grant Geothermal

Energique, Inc $20,000 grant Geothermal

Heritage Wood Products $15,610 grant Geothermal

John Oliver $18,065 grant Wind

Kevin Eisenman $11,849 grant Geothermal

MJF Roadhouse $7,607 grant Geothermal

Rick Ryan $15,849 grant Geothermal

Coon Valley Turkeys $50,000 grant Wind

Dennis Smith, Inc. $29,694 grant, $59,388 loan, Geothermal

Gary Larson $49,727 grant Geothermal

Hawkeye Tri-County Electric Cooperative $50,000 grant Geothermal

Thomas Rabel $39,949 grant Wind-Solar

Thorsen Brothers, Inc. $39,703 grant Wind

Crystal 28 LLP $36,750 grant Wind


Cornwell Farms $14,262 grant Geothermal

BCP Centerwind $50,000 grant Wind

BCP Eastwind $50,000 grant Wind

BCP Westwind $50,000 grant Wind

Pestinger Beverage Co. $19,750 grant Wind


Iager Brothers $78,800 grant Solar electric


Mill Valley Associates $89,636 grant Solar electric


Brad Hagen $17,002 grant Geothermal

Jade $20,000 grant Solar, geothermal

Reinbold Organic Farms $20,000 grant Geothermal

Meadowridge Inc. $46,377 grant Greenhouse efficiency

Lonnie Irion $35,724 grant Solar, Geothermal

William Ankley $30,000 grant Solar electric


Byron Klaassen $9,260 grant Geothermal

Federated Rural Electric $12,165 grant Geothermal

Gary Carlson $9,767 grant Geothermal

Hammer Ag Sales $6,565 grant Geothermal

James Behrends $11,526 grant Geothermal

Jared Ahlers $6,500 grant Geothermal

Jonathan Wenzel $10,085 grant Geothermal

Nobles Cooperative Elec. $14,880 grant Geothermal

Thomas Olsem $6,332 grant Geothermal

Willis Sandbulte $4,956 grant Geothermal


Michelle Huddle $11,058 grant Geothermal

Tekolste Enterprises $19,750 grant Wind

New Jersey

David Ackley $20,000 grant Solar electric

9 Main St. LLC $442,750 grant Solar electric

Auburn Road Enterprises $32,571 grant Solar electric

Blairwood Farms, Inc. $49,975 grant Solar electric

Harvery's Honey Inc. $50,000 grant Solar electric

Outnumbered Energy $254,852 grant Solar electric

Provision Energy $129,630 grant Solar electric

Provision Energy $161,797 grant Solar electric

Waldac Farm $133,245 grant Solar electric

New York

Micosta Enterprises $19,860 grant Solar/Geothermal

North Carolina

Mayberry Solar LLC $4 million loan Solar


EZ Orchards $123,413 grant Solar electric

EBD Hydro $7.2 million loan Hydro electric


BMB Enterprises $500,000 grant Hydro electric


Green Mountain Env. $49,325 grant Hydro


Scenic View Organic Eggs $31,057 grant Solar electric

USDA funding is being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and is contingent on the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant or loan agreement. REAP grants can finance up to 25 percent of a project's cost, up to $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council -- chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack -- the President wants the federal government to be the best possible partner for rural businesses and entrepreneurs creating job opportunities and for people who want to live, work and raise their families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $155 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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