A local man is among 31 Missouri recipients who have been chosen to receive Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants this year.
John T. Lee, of Cassville, will receive a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a renewable energy system that will offer energy efficiency improvements at his agriculture business.
Over 900 agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the country will receive REAP grants this year, according to Tom Vilsack, United States agriculture secretary. The grants are designed to reduce dependence on foreign oil, increase the economic competitiveness of rural America and promote job creation.
"These investments enable our farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners to develop renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will save them thousands of dollars in energy costs each year," said Vilsack. "This funding is an important part of the Obama Administration's plan to conserve natural resources, create jobs and lead our country on the path to becoming more energy independent."
Each grant award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. Grants can finance up to 25 percent of the project's cost.
REAP, a 2008 Farm Bill initiative, offers grants, guaranteed loans and combination grant and guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses make energy efficiency improvements.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that more than $11.6 million in energy grants will be awarded this year. Missouri will receive $402,749 in grant funding.