WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack—announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded over $90,000 in federal grants to Arkansas-based companies as part of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The funding aims to help farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses develop renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency at their operations.
The grants come on Earth Day, an annual event since 1970 now observed globally that highlights the importance of protecting and conserving the environment.
“As Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am committed to helping grow and strengthen the economy in rural Arkansas. These grants are an example of how USDA partners with businesses in underserved areas to help them invest in their operations while also accomplishing the goal of increasing energy efficiency. I applaud the department and these Arkansas job creators for working together to enhance their outlooks and do their part to protect the environment,” Senator Boozman said.
“I’m pleased to see the Department of Agriculture investing in communities in Arkansas to help improve renewable energy technology. These partnerships will enhance projects already in place and provide an opportunity for Arkansans in rural areas to support renewable energy operations without costing jobs,” said Senator Cotton.
“Agriculture is Arkansas’ top industry and a way of life for so many. Our agriculture producers are active environmentalists because they understand healthy ground will enable them to continue feeding and clothing the world,” Congressman Crawford said. “These important USDA grants will help them further build upon their sustainable practices and ensure a healthy environment for generations to come.”
“As we celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing the over $90,000 in grants to Arkansas’s businesses to improve energy efficiency at their companies. Through grants like these and technological innovation, we can build a cleaner energy future,” Congressman Hill said.
“I applaud USDA for joining with Arkansas businesses to develop renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency. As Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, I understand how investments into rural businesses such as these will only benefit the national economy and contribute to a cleaner environment. I look forward to continued advancement in energy efficiency in Arkansas and around the country,” Congressman Westerman said.
Congressman Womack said, “These grants will help businesses and farmers in the Third District and throughout Arkansas. Modernizing these energy systems will support economic development, efficiency, and sustainability for the future. I thank the USDA for these strategic investments and their focus on driving growth and opportunity in Berryville and other rural communities.”
The following projects were awarded REAP funds:
- Cox Pirani Farms (Osceola)
- $15,786 to purchase and install a new grain drying system at this row crop farming operation in Mississippi County.
- Black River Health Club (Pocahontas)
- $20,000 to purchase and install a 41.3 kW rooftop solar array at this locally-owned health and wellness gym in Randolph County.
- Sunset Lodge (Little Rock)
- $20,000 to purchase and install a 44.6 kW rooftop solar array for the locally-owned and operated event center in rural Pulaski County.
- Crow Group (Morrilton)
- $12,255 to purchase and install a 19.4 kW rooftop solar array at the print shop of a local construction management and general contracting company owned by the Crow Group Inc. in Conway County.
- Kerusso Activewear Inc. (Berryville)
- $3,877 to purchase LED lighting and attic insulation to improve energy efficiency at its commercial manufacturing facility in Carroll County, which specializes in screen-printing textiles, T-shirts and sweatshirts.
- Holt Builders Supply Inc. (Fordyce)
- $19,573 to install a 36.21 kW solar array on the rooftop of this local builders supply business in Dallas County.