Press Release

Welch Celebrates $3.7 Million in USDA Investments to Cut Costs and Generate Revenue for Vermont Farmers, Rural Business Owners

Jan 24, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today celebrated the announcement of $3.7 million in grants from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to seven clean energy projects across Vermont. The investments are funded through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will work to reduce energy costs, increase revenue, boost job opportunities in rural communities, and bolster competition for U.S. farmers and agricultural producers. 

“Providing access to renewable energy sources and lowering energy costs for Vermont’s farmers and rural businesses is key to achieving a clean energy economy. Theseinvestments from the Inflation Reduction Act and USDA will help spur business growth and job opportunities right here in Vermont and ensure everyone can be part of the transition to renewable energy – no matter their zip code,” said Sen. Welch, Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy

“The economic reality for small businesses in rural towns is challenging, and more than ever, businesses need to drive down costs in real time,” said Sarah Waring, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development in Vermont and New Hampshire. “With today’s announcement, more small business owners and farmers throughout the Twin States will offset energy bills with efficiency measures and renewable energy projects, and in some cases, generate extra revenue. Vermonters and Granite Staters know all too well the hard economic reality of an unpredictable climate, as evidenced by last year’s May frost and the summer floods that followed. REAP can help businesses stabilize and sustain operations while reducing environmental impacts.”

 On Monday, USDA announced $207 million in awards across 42 states for projects through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). REAP was bolstered as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Sen. Welch helped pass as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Read the announcement from USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire here. Read the full announcement from USDA here

To learn more about REAP, please click here.