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Investment to help 14 small businesses and ag producers lower energy costs

TOPEKA – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen announced on Wednesday that USDA is investing $471,792 in renewable energy projects for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions in rural Kansas. 

“Kansas is a leader in renewable energy production and that industry creates jobs and opportunities in all areas of the state,” said Hinrichsen. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural Kansas in building stronger and healthier communities through renewable energy, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Lyons - Kansas Ethanol LLC:  A $250,000 grant will be used to purchase and install equipment for combined heat and power and ethanol dehydration. The project is estimated to generate 67,113 kWh per year, which is enough energy to power six homes.

Pittsburg - Denver Lawson, a turkey producer:  A $36,500 grant will be used to purchase and install solar equipment. The project is estimated to produce 134,066 kWh (61%) per year, which is enough energy to power 12 homes. 

Newton - Horn’s Auto Repair, 4x4, and Welding LLC: A $5,559 grant will be used to purchase and install a 9kW roof-mounted solar array. This project will replace 13,654 kWh (105 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power one home.

Harper - Millaturn Machine LLC: A $19,875 will be used to purchase and install a 15 kW wind turbine. The turbine is estimated to replace 62,923 kWh (104%) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

Additional projects will also be funded in Andale, Bel Aire, Derby, Linwood, Newton, Osborne, Rose Hill, Uniontown, Wichita.

USDA is investing in 14 rural small businesses and ag producers through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants and Guaranteed Loans. Investments can used for renewable energy systems such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower. REAP funding can also be used for energy audits and to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems, insulation, lighting and refrigeration.

Interested parties should contact their local Kansas area office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also visit to learn more about how the REAP Guaranteed Loan Program will be streamlined under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative beginning October 1.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force. 

To view the report in its entirety, view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit