Small, large ag businesses get $1.1 million in USDA grants

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LEXINGTON, Ky., (WTVQ) – Eleven large and small agriculture-related projects, from college energy improvements to solar power on farms, are receiving $1.1 million in federal USDA grants.

Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Hilda Legg announced the investments.

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“We have a number of programs available to help businesses succeed, whether that’s by reducing overhead, adding value to an existing product or helping a community establish a location where small businesses can flourish,” said Legg. “Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA Rural Development continues to be a valuable partner in helping rural businesses and communities across the commonwealth.”

Denali Stud will use a $8,190 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 12.6 kilowatt solar system. The project will generate and replace over 14,000 kWh of energy each year.

Runnymede Farm Inc. will use a $19,513 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install three solar systems totaling 36.36 kilowatts. The project will generate and replace over 42,000 kWh of energy each year.

Butler Farms LLC will use a $197,831 Value-Added Producer Grant to expand the market for their packaged pork and chicken products. They plan to expand and ship meat subscription boxes, improve marketing to increase customer base and improve the processing and logistics.

Inside-Out Design LLC will use a $7,157 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 15.02 kilowatt solar system. The project will generate and replace over 19,000 kWh of energy each year.

Lazy Eight Stock Farm LLC will use a $7,522 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 21.6 kilowatt solar system. The project will generate and replace over 28,000 kWh of energy each year.

The city of Berea will use a $100,000 Rural Business Development Grant to construct a permanent structure for a multi-use farmer’s market pavilion, which serves small and emerging farmers located within a nine-county eligible rural area. This permanent structure will offer more space for additional vendors while breathing new life into a blighted area that is located at the main point of entry into the city.

Berea College will use a $50,000 Rural Energy for America Program grant to perform energy audits that will assist rural small business and agricultural producers in making energy efficiency improvements to their businesses and/or farming operations.

Jani K. Schneid will use a $13,963 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 31.08 kilowatt solar system. The project will generate and replace almost 40,000 kWh of energy each year.

Jani K. Schneid will also use a $15,278 Rural Energy for America Program grant to install high-efficiency LED lighting. This project will save over 3,000 kWh of energy each year.

Bluegrass Biochar LLC will use a $5,925 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 10.5 kilowatt solar system. The project will generate and replace over 11,750 kWh of energy each year.

Elmwood Stock Farm will use a $239,332 Value-Added Producer Grant to expand the community supported agriculture (CSA) share program and to expand the value-added, processed foods produced from Elmwood Stock Farm commodities for sale within the CSA basket, which is sold at the farmers market and through an online store. This project adds value as a USDA certified organic operation that supplies vegetables and meats to the local community.

John F. Ruggles Jr. Inc. will use a $500,000 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 1.4 megawatt solar system. The project will generate and replace over 1.8 million kWh each year.