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Energy Grants for Mississippi Poultry Producers

by 5m Editor
12 July 2010, at 8:28am

MISSISSIPPI, US - Fifteen poultry producers in Mississippi will share almost $275,000 in US Department of Agriculture grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of poultry production houses.

US Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) made the announcement last week, according to WCBI.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants were awarded to small poultry producers in Carthage, Columbia, Conehatta, Forest, Jayess, McComb, Morton, Philadelphia, Pinola, Preston, Sumrall, Walnut Grove, Waynesboro and Wesson. The REAP grants range in value from $49,126 to $3,726.

Senator Cochran, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said: "Investing in energy efficiency means these poultry producers should lower their production costs, which is good business. Poultry production is an important part of Mississippi's agriculture sector, and this USDA funding is intended to help the industry grow while conserving energy."

Senator Wicker added: "Replacing equipment with more efficiency units can help many of our state's poultry producers save money in the end. This funding will help conserve energy and transform our poultry houses into more energy efficient production units."

The $273,117 in federal funding will supplement more than $814,000 in non-federal money being invested to install energy efficiency improvements in poultry and broiler growing houses, including cool cells, brooders, controllers, fans, lighting and insulation. With these enhancements, the USDA estimates that annual energy savings at individual Mississippi poultry farms could range between 18,768kwh and 386,522kwh.

Administered by USDA Rural Development, REAP was created in the 2002 Farm Bill to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and in implementing energy-saving changes to their operations.

The Mississippi poultry industry generated more than $2.3 billion in revenues in 2009. Poultry, the state's largest agriculture commodity, directly employs more than 24,000 people, and another 23,000 hold jobs that are indirectly linked to the industry, reports WCBI.