Rural Energy for America Program, Deadline July 7


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications from Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses for funding the installation of Renewable Energy Systems or to make Energy Efficiency Improvements. Rural Small Business projects must be located in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or less, while Agricultural Producer projects have no rural limitations. For this funding round, USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in guaranteed loans. Additional REAP funds provided by the 2014 Farm Bill will be made available with a subsequent notice.

Applications will be accepted for grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of Renewable Energy Systems and for the installation of Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects. Grants can cover up to 25 percent of total eligible costs, while Guaranteed loans can cover up to 75 percent of total eligible cost.

Eligible projects in the accepted technology areas include: Anaerobic Digesters, Biomass / Biofuels, Geothermal (including electric generation and direct use), Hydropower projects (30 megawatts or less), Hydrogen, Solar (small and large), Wind (small and large), and Energy Efficiency Improvements.

Examples of Energy Efficiency Improvement projects include, but are not limited to: the installation and replacement to more energy efficient motors, pumps, fans, blowers, compressors, grain dryers, irrigation projects, refrigeration units, ventilation systems, windows, insulation, heating systems, lighting systems, and energy shade curtains.
Grant applications & combined grant and guaranteed loan applications are due to the USDA Rural Development State Office or Area Offices, on or before July 7, 2014.

Guaranteed loan only applications will be accepted on a continual basis, but must be submitted by July 31, 2014 to compete for FY2014 funding.

Contact us for more information!


Rural Energy for America Program, Deadline July 7

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!

We’re very happy to say that we’re a TC Chamber 2012 Small Business of the Year nominee. We hope you’ll take a minute this Wednesday afternoon (5:30-7:30 pm) to stop by the Hagerty Center and say hi. Admission is free and you can get a look at the other great nominees as well.

We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, today’s featured grant is the Farm to School program.

The MI Farm to School Grant Program awards Michigan K-12 schools/districts with funds ($2,000 maximum each) to plan for or implement farm to school programs. With funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, this program is coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. The application period for the second grant year (September 1, 2012 – June 1, 2013) is now open! Applications are due by 5 pm EST on Friday, May 4, 2012.

  • The MI Farm to School Planning Grant helps K-12 schools and Pre-K programs plan for integrating fresh, local foods into cafeterias AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Action Plan to implement a farm to school program.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Meeting expenses for gathering farmers, food service professionals, students, parents, community members, etc.
    • Trainings/learning opportunities (i.e. fresh food prep, knife skills, seasonal menu planning, etc.) in addition to those required for grantees
    • Fees associated with attending conferences related to farm to school, local agriculture, food systems, etc.
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment (up to $500) to help prepare and serve fresh, local produce
  • The MI Farm to School Implementation Grant helps schools put existing farm to school plans into action AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Sustainability Plan to keep a farm to school program going and growing in future years.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment, resources or materials that will help to increase the use of local foods in the school food service program
    • Purchase of fresh, local food products to use in the school food service program
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Marketing materials for fresh, local foods in school cafeterias (i.e. posters, line tags, etc.)
    • On-going training or learning opportunities for food service staff to utilize fresh, local foods


  • The school food service program must have at least 50% free and reduced-price meal enrollment at the time this application is completed. A goal of this program is to help vulnerable children find more local, healthy food choices in school meals programs.
  • Only school food service/nutrition directors can apply for their school district(s) or school(s). Food service directors from a school district may choose to focus on a few school buildings or an entire school district’s food service program, but the district must have 50% free and reduced price meal enrollment. Private or charter schools may apply as an individual school.
  • Only one application for either the planning or implementation grant (not both) is allowed per pre-K program, school or district per grant year.
  • Pre-K and early childcare programs are eligible only for planning grants. The program must be eligible to receive Tier 1 reimbursement rates for at least 50% of program participants (as indicated by current Child and Adult Care Food Program eligibility) to apply. Private or charter school and early childcare programs servicing children from birth-5 may apply as individual grantees. Childcare programs solely contracting with a school/district for all meals programs must apply in partnership with the school/district food service/nutrition director.

Contact us for more details!

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!