WA Agricultural Projects to be Funded

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 631 projects across the nation, including 11 projects in Washington State.

These projects will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and/or conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects.

Grant and loan funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

"As part of the Obama Administration's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, the program and others like it would not be available without a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, and again I urge members of Congress to pass a bill when they return to Washington next month," said Vilsack.

REAP helps producers reduce energy costs and increase production efficiency.

In Washington,  a grant of $5,381 will be awarded to Adamant Cellars in Walla Walla to be used to install a solar hot water system to replace propane in their operations, which will replace 62 percent of the company’s energy needs.

Other Washington Projects funded include:

- $209,409 to Brotje Orchards in Prescott, Walla Walla County, to install a solar hot water dunk tank for washing apples.

- $12,247 to Inaba Produce Farms, Inc., in Yakima County, to install solar hot water, radiant floor heat and hydronic heaters in vegetable processing facility replacing 782 gallons of diesel fuel annually.

Farmers, ranchers, business owners and agriculture producers in 41 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will also receive funding.

Applications are accepted year round for the program.