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Wisconsin rural businesses thrive with REAP funding

Wisconsin rural businesses thrive with REAP funding

By Blake Jackson

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has announced significant funding for Wisconsin farmers and rural small businesses, totaling over $2 million in grants aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, reducing costs, and bolstering operational resilience.

"These grants are crucial for our rural communities, supporting Wisconsin's backbone of farmers and small businesses to innovate and thrive," Senator Baldwin stated. The funding, facilitated through the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), was boosted by $2 billion under the Inflation Reduction Act, a legislative initiative backed by Baldwin.

The REAP program offers grants and loans to help agriculture producers and rural small business owners adopt clean energy solutions such as wind and solar, as well as implement energy efficiency improvements.

Since 2018, REAP has injected more than $9.2 million into Wisconsin's agricultural and rural business sectors. Senator Baldwin highlighted previous announcements benefiting over 50 farms last year, with additional funding in March and May this year amounting to over $3 million.

These investments are part of broader efforts under the Inflation Reduction Act to increase enrollment in voluntary conservation practices, marking historic levels of participation by farmers and acres.

Among the recipients this month, fifteen Wisconsin farms and businesses were awarded REAP grants. Examples include Osceola Auto Body in Osceola receiving $95,700 to install a solar electric array projected to save $7,980 annually, and Brett Nixon in Fond du Lac County securing $1 million for a dairy manure anaerobic digester, expected to create eight jobs.

Similarly, LaCanne Family Dental in Marinette and Coon Valley Farmers Telephone in Coon Valley will benefit from solar installations saving thousands annually, while Alta Genetics USA in Watertown aims to save $35,499 per year with their solar array.

Senator Baldwin emphasized the transformative impact of these grants in reducing energy costs, creating jobs, and improving sustainability for Wisconsin's rural businesses.

The initiatives underscore Baldwin's commitment to supporting local economies and fostering long-term environmental stewardship across the state.

A full list of REAP award recipients can be found here.

Photo Credit: istock-simplycreativephotography

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