Workshops to help farmers and small
businesses with energy grants
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[MAY 22, 2004]
CHAMPAIGN -- Help is
available to farmers, cooperatives and rural small businesses
interested in applying for grants to purchase renewable energy
systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Virtual workshops
will be conducted at 11 sites around the state on June 2 to
help applicants vie for $22.8 million in energy grants available
nationally from USDA Rural Development.
workshops, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., will be in Bloomington,
Carbondale, Champaign, Edwardsville, Kankakee, Macomb, Moline,
Princeton, Robinson, Rock Falls and Winchester. Eligible applicants
can check the USDA Rural Development home page at
www.rurdev.usda.gov/il/energyconference.htm for details on
location and where to call to register.
Participants will get
an overview of grant requirements, tips on preparing their
applications and a chance to ask questions. They will also hear
about additional funding sources available from the Illinois
Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois
Clean Energy Community Foundation. The grant application deadline is
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"We've assembled a
strong network of resources to help applicants with advice and
matching funds," said Rural Development State Director Doug Wilson.
"We want to encourage rural businesses and farmers to take advantage
of the grant program and the workshops. Numerous organizations are
ready to help them prepare their applications."
The energy program
was authorized by Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill. Last year $2.1
million was granted to Illinois recipients. Changes in this year's
program are making it easier to use and give smaller agricultural
producers special consideration.
"Renewable energy and
energy efficiency are good for the rural economy," said Wilson.
"This program spurs investments that can result in lower energy
bills, greater profit margins and economic opportunity for farmers
and rural small businesses."
Questions about the energy grant program
and workshops can be directed to Cathy Glover at (217) 403-6210 or
Patrick Lydic at (217) 403-6211.
[News release from
U.S. Department of
Rural Development Illinois]