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WI farmers receive $1.2 million in energy efficiency grants

WI farmers receive $1.2 million in energy efficiency grants

By Blake Jackson

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) recently announced that Wisconsin farmers and rural small business owners are set to receive over $1.2 million in grants aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, reducing energy expenses, and bolstering the resilience of their operations.

In her statement, Senator Baldwin highlighted the crucial role played by Wisconsin's agricultural producers and small businesses in driving economic growth and job creation within rural communities. She expressed pride in supporting these "Made in Wisconsin" enterprises as they take steps to lower energy costs, combat climate change, and optimize their operations.

This funding, totaling $1.2 million, has been made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Senator Baldwin emphasized that the recent boost in REAP funding-part of the Baldwin-backed Inflation Reduction Act, which allocated an additional $2 billion to the program-enables the USDA to provide grants and loans to support the adoption of clean energy solutions like wind and solar power, along with energy efficiency enhancements.

Since 2018, REAP has infused more than $9.2 million into Wisconsin's farms and rural businesses. Last year, Senator Baldwin celebrated the impact of REAP grants on over 50 farms, and earlier this year, she announced support for an additional 20 farms through this program.

The recent investments made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act have led to unprecedented enrollment of farmers and acres in voluntary conservation efforts.

Among the recipients of REAP grants last month are nearly 20 farms and businesses across Wisconsin. For instance, Poeschel Hidden Valley LLC in Durand received $97,350 to acquire and install an energy-efficient grain dryer, expected to save the company $5,422 annually in electrical costs.

Similarly, Peter Hanson in Bloomer secured $339,701 to install an energy-efficient grain dryer, projecting savings of $13,000 per year along with significant reductions in energy consumption.

These grants reflect a broader effort to promote sustainable practices and reduce the carbon footprint of Wisconsin's agricultural sector, ultimately contributing to a more environmentally conscious and economically resilient rural economy. A full list of REAP award recipients can be found here.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-laughingmango

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