The US Senate’s passage this week of the new five-year Farm Bill includes $881 million in mandatory funding for Energy Title programs to help American agriculture with renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
Ryan Stroschein, co-director of The Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) told Energy Manager Today, “The program we most cared about and that receives the lion’s share of funding is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loan guarantees for farms and small rural businesses for energy efficiency and renewables.”
An example of an agricultural loan from REAP would be a dairy farm that receives funding to turn waste into biogas, said Stroschein.
“This ($881 million) is mandatory money, so these programs will continue, he added.
The AgEC is a membership-based group of organizations, including members focused on feedstock production and conversion technologies, rural economic development and diversification, biofuels, products and power, and renewable electricity production. Last fall, the AgEC led a group of more than 100 organizations in sending a letter urging Congressional conferees to support reauthorization of the Energy Title programs of the Farm Bill for five more years.
Photo: Dairy farm via Shutterstock