According to Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary, 450 projects across the nation, including 22 projects in Tennessee, are to receive a total of $7.4 million in energy grants. The monetary funding will be dispersed through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and is authorized by the 2008 farm bill.
One of the 450 grants is to be received by Spring Creek Farm, a 100-acre farm which primarily sells “grass-fed” pastured meat, and naturally grown produce plus fruit.
With backing from REAP, residents of the area are set to benefit from lower energy costs, thanks to the installation of renewable energy systems (in this case, solar array panels).
Moreover, pollution released into the surrounding environment will be significantly reduced as more countryside establishments run on eco-friendly power sources. In addition to “running greener” to minimize pollution and cut operating expenses, more employment opportunities will be created as well.
“The Obama administration and USDA are helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy costs and consumption, and by doing so this is helping to create jobs, preserve our natural resources and protect the environment. This is a great day for the community in Spring Creek, Nashville” said Vilsack.
He also added: “This is part of the bio-based economy. It’s helping to increase incomes and job opportunities in rural areas. In the long term, the project pays for itself by reducing energy costs and it reduces subsidies to these farms.”
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