USDA issues $3.7mn in grants for Vermont’s agricultural and rural sectors

A welcome sign at the Vermont state line.

Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont) has commended the allocation of $3.7mn in grants by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at advancing seven clean energy projects across Vermont. This financial infusion, sourced from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), is designed to diminish energy costs, augment revenue, generate employment opportunities in rural locales, and intensify competition for U.S. farmers and agricultural producers.

“Access to renewable energy and reducing energy expenses for Vermont’s agrarian and rural enterprises is pivotal for cultivating a clean energy economy. These funds, provisioned by the Inflation Reduction Act and the USDA, are instrumental in catalyzing business expansion and job creation across Vermont, guaranteeing inclusive participation in the renewable energy transition, irrespective of geographical disparities,” articulated Sen. Welch, a distinguished member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Chair of the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy.

Sarah Waring, USDA State Director for Rural Development in Vermont and New Hampshire, highlighted the tough economic landscape for small businesses in rural towns, emphasizing the urgency for businesses to curtail costs instantaneously. “Today’s announcement signifies a critical step for small business proprietors and farmers in the Twin States to mitigate energy expenses through efficiency initiatives and renewable energy undertakings, occasionally generating additional revenue. Vermonters and Granite Staters are intimately familiar with the economic tribulations posed by unpredictable climatic patterns, as the previous year’s May frost and subsequent summer floods have demonstrated. REAP is poised to aid businesses in stabilizing and sustaining their operations while concurrently diminishing environmental footprints,” Waring noted.

The announcement arrives in the wake of the USDA’s disclosure of $207 million in awards dispersed across 42 states for projects under REAP and the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). The reinforcement of REAP as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Sen. Welch was instrumental in passing during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, underscores the program’s significance.

The beneficiaries of the Vermont grants are as follows:

  • Machia and Sons Dairy, Sheldon VT: $929,360
  • Machia Brothers Dairy, Sheldon, VT: $747,124
  • Percy Farm, Stowe, VT: $750,284
  • USA Group, LTD, Brattleboro, VT: $99,241
  • Whitney Blake Company, Bellows Falls, VT: $242,598
  • Allen Brothers, Inc., Rockingham, VT: $796,780
  • Northern Building Supplies, Inc., Newfane, VT: $133,560
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