CEDAR FALLS - Farmers with small to mid-sized operations may apply for demonstration grants related to energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy that reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
This opportunity is through the Farm Energy Working Group of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, facilitated by the UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
Applications must be related to these focus areas:
Cold storage facilities for renewable biomass, fruits and vegetables and other crops, as related to the Farm Service Agency Cooler Program for storage facility loans. Farmers would apply for FSA funding to build/update facilities and the FEWG grant could help pay the farmer's construction labor/time to evaluate energy use before and after).
Energy efficiency on the farm that will reduce fossil fuel use, for example, installation of more energy-efficient lighting and/or ventilation systems.
Solar water-heating systems that use rural electric cooperative rebates, which are currently offered by 14 Iowa rural electric cooperatives, a program ideal for small dairy operations. The FEWG grant could help pay for the farmer's time to install the system and/or gather energy use data.
The deadline is Wednesday. Go to the FEWG's website for the application and a sample application at www.ceee.uni.edu/farmenergy.aspx.