Farmers with small to mid-sized operations may apply for demonstration grants related to energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy that reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. This opportunity is through the Farm Energy Working Group (FEWG) of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, facilitated by the UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).
Applications must be related to these focus areas:
Cold storage facilities for renewable biomass, fruits and vegetables and other crops, as related to the Farm Service Agency Cooler Program for storage facility loans (farmers would apply for FSA funding to build/update facilities and the FEWG grant could help pay the farmer's construction labor/time to evaluate energy use before and after);
Energy efficiency on the farm that will reduce fossil fuel use, for example, installation of more energy-efficient lighting and/or ventilation systems; and
Solar water-heating systems that use Rural Electric Cooperative rebates (currently offered by at least 14 Iowa rural electric cooperatives, a program ideal for small dairy operations; the FEWG grant could help pay for the farmer's time to install the system and/or gather energy use data).
"Farmers are incredibly innovative and we want to help them reduce their need for fossil fuel use on their farms. This is our fourth round of grants and the results are helping farmers across Iowa rely on energy efficiency and renewable energy instead of fossil fuel," says Carole Yates, the working group's coordinator.
Grants are for up to $2,000 to pay for the farmer's time for installation, administration and report writing. The grants cannot cover any equipment purchases. No matching dollars are required.
Application deadline is Nov. 30, 2011. Go to the FEWG's website for the application and a sample application at www.ceee.uni.edu/farmenergy.aspx. For more information, contact Yates at [email protected] or (319) 273-7599.You can find this on the web at www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/11-04-2011/farm-energy-grants-available