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More Obama Administration funds stimulate economy in area

ARRA Farm Energy awards go to Adair, Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe, and Russell Counties
Awards in the Seven County Area include the following: ADAIR - Gregory Burton, $1,063.00, Steve Burton, $1,438.00; Tony Compton, $10,000.00; Jonathan Gaskins, $9,125.00; Bruce Held, $1,375.00; and Billy Rowe, $1,500.00, all with enterprises focused in dairy. CUMBERLAND - William Lewis, $10,000.00; and Barry Smith, $10,000, both with enterprises focused in poultry. GREEN - Blake Edwards, $10,000.00, enterprise focus, grain. METCALFE - Roger Birge, $10,000.00, poultry; William Crist, $10,000.00, poultry. RUSSELL - Mitchell Burton, $2,625.00, dairy. Click to download the PDF with List of Grants Statewide

By Terry Sebastian and Kerri Richardson

FRANKFORT, KY - Governor Steve Beshear today announced the awarding of $773,447 in On-Farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives grants. This program is the result of the partnership between the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and Kentucky's Department for Energy Development & Independence with funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy.

"In October 2009, I announced the availability of stimulus funds for on-farm energy efficiency improvements in Kentucky," Gov. Beshear said. "I am pleased to announce that 100 farm families were able to take advantage of this opportunity in 2011 to improve farm energy efficiency or biomass production, bringing the total number of farms assisted through this program to 192."

Recipients of these energy stimulus incentives may receive 25 percent reimbursement of the actual cost of a federally qualified energy saving project, up to $10,000. Permissible items include, but are not limited to, energy audits, energy efficient farm building components, on-farm energy upgrades, on-farm energy efficiency training and biomass energy production activities.

"These on-farm energy efficiency incentive grants represent only a small part of Kentucky's State Energy Program award," said Roger Thomas, executive director of the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP). "But they will provide enormous benefit to Kentucky's farm families and position Kentucky agriculture as a leader in on-farm energy efficiency."

The 2011 awards, along with funds awarded in 2009 and 2010, bring total ARRA investments in the On-farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives program to more than $1.4 million.

"The energy grant allowed me to make several improvements, which I would not have been able to make. I can now affordably extend my growing season," said Glendale resident Alex Meredith, who is a past recipient of the program.

All applications for the incentive grants were reviewed and scored by a committee comprised of representatives from GOAP, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, the UK College of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development. A representative from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet served in an ex-officio capacity.

The 2011 ARRA On-farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives Program is designed to help achieve the goals of Gov. Steve Beshear's Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky's Future: Kentucky's 7-Point Energy Strategy and will be part of the effort to meet 18 percent of Kentucky's energy needs from efficiency improvements by 2025.

This story was posted on 2011-07-27 13:16:59
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