Nearly 20 local farmers showed up at the
A large part of McCloskey's presentation about the GOAP's 2014 On-Farm Energy Efficiency and Investment Program encouraged farmers to think of ideas for alternative energy projects that would use economical sources, like solar, wind and biomass.
The largest funding portion of the grant program is set aside for the Beginning Farmer program, which is designed to assist farmers with the startup costs of farming.
The other portions of the grant program are focused on assisting energy projects. "One of the places we would like to see more participation is eastern
McCloskey and Maas said the most feasible alternative energy sources for this end of the state are solar and biomass.
McCloskey offered an example of a greenhouse project in
"Like any government agency, we have limited funds in which to assist you with," McCloskey said. "With the GOAP, our funding programs are designed to help our farmers transition out of tobacco and into other enterprises."
Maas discussed the
The goal is to create more energy-efficient farms and businesses in rural areas. If a farm or business is interested in applying for the grant or loan to convert energy systems, Maas said an on-site energy auditor would survey the property and offer the most cost-effective solutions.
Maas said solar energy is trending throughout
"Personally, I don't see why solar energy can't work for eastern
The crowd offered few questions for the two presenters, but local farmer
"I'm really hoping I can do what I need without having to borrow any money," he said. "I come from the old school where you pay for something with what you got."
Other farmers seemed hesitant, but Maas said he encouraged farmers to apply for the money that will become available in 2015.
With the passage of the recent farm bill, Maas said the grant program will expand to nearly
For more information about the programs, visit the
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