TOPEKA – USDA Rural Development state director Patty Clark said USDA is awarding seven grants to help Kansas rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy use and costs. Funding will aid energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems.

Funding for the grants is through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). USDA reminds eligible applicants that funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000, and priority scoring may be offered for projects in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. REAP grant applications are accepted year-round, but the deadline for the upcoming grant funding cycle is May 2.

“In the past five years, USDA’s REAP program has assisted more than 90 small business owners and agricultural producers in Kansas, ranging from dairy farmers to main-street businesses, to either save energy or create it,” said Clark.

Kansas small businesses and agricultural producers that received grants totaling $45,604 include:

Small business REAP grants:

• Niece Products of Kansas Inc., Fort Scott; $7,272 REAP grant

Funds will help replace diesel-powered heaters with more efficient natural-gas-powered heaters at the manufacturing facility.

• Smith Monuments Inc., Stockton; $4,074 REAP grant

Funds will help replace existing windows, doors and a gas furnace, as well as add wall insulation.

Agricultural producer REAP grants:

• Donald O. and Arthena H. Brubaker Trust, Sawyer; $7,188 REAP grant

Funds will help make irrigation-well improvements including conversion of a diesel engine to an electric motor, modified pumping plant and variable frequency drive.

• Franz Farms LLC, Buhler; $7,994 REAP grant

Funds will be used to make irrigation well improvements including conversion of a diesel engine to an electric motor, pump improvements and variable frequency drive.

• Jason Wiebe, Durham; $2,771 REAP grant

Funds will help replace lighting in a free-stall dairy barn with LED light fixtures.

• John and Roberta Ney, Dodge City; $7,812 REAP grant

Funds will help make irrigation well improvements including new submersible pumps and variable frequency drive.

• Norman and Pearl Ensz Family Trust, Inman; $8,493 REAP grant

Funds will help make irrigation well improvements including conversion of a diesel engine to an electric motor, pump improvements and variable frequency drive.

The REAP program offers grants and loan guarantees to eligible applicants. USDA offers grants for up to 25 percent of a project’s eligible costs and loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of eligible project costs for energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy systems.

Energy efficiency projects that help reduce the business or farm’s energy use may apply for a REAP grant. Funding can be used for energy replacement or energy generated and can include projects such as solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, biomass facilities and wind turbines.

More details on the REAP program and application forms are available at the agency’s website, www.rd.usda.gov/ks. Also, for more details on how to apply for REAP financing in Kansas, contact one of the specialists below:

• Doug Bruggeman, Hays area office: (785) 628-3081, ext. 435; doug.bruggeman@ks.usda.gov

• Katie Casper, Iola area office: (620) 365-2901, ext. 427; katie.casper@ks.usda.gov

• Travis Snider, Newton area office: (316) 283-0370, ext. 439; travis.snider@ks.usda.gov

• David Kramer, Topeka state office: (785) 271-2736; david.kramer@ks.usda.gov