Ag Producer & Agribusiness Energy Efficiency Grants

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) helps finance the cost of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements for rural small businesses and agricultural producers.

A variety of energy projects may qualify for REAP financial assistance to help you purchase, install, and construct energy projects.

solar and wind power in coastal mud flat, renewable energy background.  Ag Producer & Agribusiness Energy Efficiency Grants farm land with wind turbines solar panel Geswein Farm and land real estate

solar and wind power in coastal mud flat, renewable energy background.

Reduce your utility bills with energy efficiency improvements

  • Install efficient lights and equipment with customizable controls to lower your electrical use. Many newer light systems also generate less heat and reduce cooling costs while improving lighting.  Lower your heating and cooling costs with equipment upgrades, insulation, programmable thermostats, and airtight windows, doors, and ducts.
  • Depending on where your business or farm is located, solar panels could offset much of your operation’s energy costs.
  • If you have enough wind and space—and if local zoning regulations permit—a small wind turbine could help you reduce energy costs.
  • Small hydropower systems (less than 30 megawatts) transform the energy of flowing water into electricity.
  • With a geothermal system, underground reservoirs of hot water can be channeled to the surface to heat buildings or generate electricity.
  • An anaerobic digester breaks down animal waste such as cow manure and other organic materials into biogas that can fuel vehicles or be used to generate electricity and heat.
  • Renewable biomass such as crops, wood, and plants, as well as biodegradable wastes such as fats, oils, and other materials can be converted into heat or biofuel.

What funding is available?

  • Grant:  REAP grants may cover up to 25 percent of a project’s eligible costs.
  • Renewable energy systems:  $2,500 minimum grant request; $500,000 maximum grant request.
  • Energy efficiency projects:  $1,500 minimum grant request; $250,000 maximum grant request.
  • Loan Guarantee:  With REAP, USDA RD may guarantee up to 85 percent of a commercial loan to help you access affordable financing for your energy project. Rates and terms are negotiated between you and your lender, subject to USDA approval.
  • Combination Guarantee and Grant:  You may combine REAP grant and loan guarantee assistance to cover up to 75 percent of eligible project costs.

Grant applications are selected for funding based on a competitive process. In order to be considered for FY 2015 funds, complete applications must be received by USDA RD not later than 4:30 PM CSTas of the following dates:

  • Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficient Improvement Grant and combination Grant and Guaranteed Loans: April 30, 2015
  • Second deadline: June 30, 2015

Application Deadline: 

  • Grants of $20,000 or less: October 31, 2016 and March 31, 2017;
  • Unrestricted Grants (up to $500,000): March 31, 2017;
  • Loan Guarantees are competed continuously throughout the year.

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficient Improvement Guaranteed Loan applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

For more information about this program visit

information gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed, subject to change without notice.

FSA Youth Loan Program Benefits

Most people would agree that educating our youth about responsible money management, record keeping, and business operation are important keys to success. Programs and clubs like 4-H and FFA are the best examples of watching young people develop lifelong skills of responsibility, confidence and a sense of community. A unique program available from the local Farm Service Agency is available to qualified applicants that help our youth get started with income-producing projects such as 4-H livestock and even small businesses.

“The FSA Youth Loan Program teaches young people about the responsibility that comes with money, paying it back the bank, and how to complete a project from start to finish.”

The Farm Service Agency makes loans to youth to establish and operate agricultural income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must be planned and operated with the help of the organization advisor, produce sufficient income to repay the loan and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience. The maximum loan amount is $5000.

“The process for application and approval is really quite simple and streamlined.” 


Youth Loan Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a citizen of the United States (which includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) or a legal resident alien
  • Be 10 years to 20 years of age
  • Comply with FSA’s general eligibility requirements
  • Be unable to get a loan from other sources
  • Conduct a modest income-producing project in a supervised program of work as outlined above
  • Demonstrate capability of planning, managing and operating the project under guidance and assistance from a project advisor. The project supervisor must recommend the youth loan applicant, along with providing adequate supervision.

For more information Stop by the local Indiana FSA office for help preparing and processing the application forms.