USDA provides $6.5m energy efficiency grant to Iowa farms

Grants to assist farmers and ranchers in making energy efficient improvements a sign of US's green i

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided $3,6m in loan guarantees and $2,9m in grants to 61 Iowa farms to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses in making energy efficient improvements in their operations and developing renewable energy systems.

The funding, which is administered under the Rural Energy for America Program, will enable individual farmer to adopt energy efficient means to conduct their operations to remain competitive and lower expenses, while reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and improve economy.

The energy efficiency projects will be implemented on farms in the following counties: Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Grundy, Iowa, Jones, Keokuk, Plymouth, Scott, Sioux, Taylor, Union, Wapello and Washington.

"Rising energy costs are impacting all businesses, but in rural America, we have the ability to streamline operations and cut costs by improving energy efficiency for farmers and families," the US senator for Iowa, Tom Harkin said.