USDA Rural Grants Awarded to Promote Energy Efficiency Among Mississippi Poultry Producers
Friday, July 9, 2010
WASHINGTON, D. C. – Fifteen poultry producers in Mississippi will share almost $275,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of poultry production houses, U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) announced today.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants were awarded to small poultry producers in Carthage, Columbia, Conehatta, Forest, Jayess, McComb, Morton, Philadelphia, Pinola, Preston, Sumrall, Walnut Grove, Waynesboro and Wesson. The REAP grants range in value from $49,126 to $3,726.
“Investing in energy efficiency means these poultry producers should lower their production costs, which is good business,” said Cochran, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Poultry production is an important part of Mississippi’s agriculture sector, and this USDA funding is intended to help the industry grow while conserving energy.”
“Replacing equipment with more efficiency units can help many of our state’s poultry producers save money in the end,” said Wicker. “This funding will help conserve energy and transform our poultry houses into more energy efficient production units.”
The $273,117 in federal funding will supplement more than $814,000 in non-federal money being invested to install energy efficiency improvements in poultry and broiler growing houses, including cool cells, brooders, controllers, fans, lighting and insulation. With these enhancements, the USDA estimates that annual energy savings at individual Mississippi poultry farms could range between 18,768 kwh and 386,522 kwh.
Administered by USDA Rural Development, REAP was created in the 2002 Farm Bill to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and in implementing energy-saving changes to their operations. For more information visit: Rural Energy for America Program Grant (REAP)
The Mississippi poultry industry generated more than $2.3 billion in revenues in 2009. Poultry, thestate’s largest agriculture commodity, directly employs more than 24,000 people, and another 23,000 hold jobs that are indirectly linked to the industry.