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USDA Seeks Applications to Help Farmers and Ranchers Venture into New and Better Markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is inviting grant applications from organizations to provide hands-on assistance to agricultural producers applying for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funding, which will lower energy costs and make energy efficiency improvements in rural areas.

This assistance is made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis. It also advances the President’s Investing in America agenda to grow the nation’s economy from the middle out and bottom up.

To learn more, read the full

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The purpose of the REAP TAG Program is to enable Applicants to provide technical assistance to Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses applying to REAP, with priority for applications assisting at least two or more of the following types of REAP Applicants: (a) Agricultural Producers, (b) REAP applicants pursuing projects located in disadvantaged or distressed communities, (c) Tribal entities, (d) REAP Applicants pursuing projects using Underutilized Technologies, and (e) REAP Applicants pursuing projects under $20,000. To meet this purpose, the Agency will make grants to eligible entities to provide services to assist potential REAP Applicants in submitting Complete Applications.

Eligible Applicants are: (1) A unit of State, Tribal, or local government or an instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; (2) A land-grant college or university, or other Institution of Higher Education; (3) A rural electric cooperative (4) A Public Power Entity; (5) A Council, as defined under the Resource Conservation and Development Program, at 16 U.S.C. 3451. (6) A Not-for-profit entity;

REAP TAG funds can be used for a wide variety of activities including recruitment of Renewable Energy or energy efficiency projects, identification of electrical engineering services, preparation of REAP applications for Agency financial assistance, as well as preparing reports and assessments necessary to request financial assistance. Contracted services are allowable. All activities must be directly related to providing technical assistance to Agricultural Producers or Rural Small Businesses to apply for assistance under REAP. Eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Assisting Agricultural Producers or Rural Small Businesses to apply for assistance under REAP for Energy Efficiency Improvements, or Renewable Energy Systems.
  2. Providing information on how to improve the energy efficiency of the operations and to use Renewable Energy technologies and resources in their operations.
  3. Conducting and promoting Energy Assessments and audits as defined in 7 CFR 4280.103. 
  4. Preparing a technical report in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.110(g). 
  5. Assisting with filing for System Award Management (SAM) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) registrations. 
  6. Assisting with completing a REAP grant application in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.116. 
  7. Assisting with planning construction and development in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.125. 
  8. Assisting with completion of environmental reports and/or documentation required for submittal of applications.

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