FARMINGTON — The Western Mountains Alliance and Greater Franklin Economic Development Corporation will host a workshop for farmers and small business owners from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Olsen Student Center, University of Maine Farmington.

John Sheehan of the USDA Rural Development State Office in Bangor will
lead the workshop to introduce information on both the Rural Energy for
America Program and the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. The workshop is for farmers or small business owners who want to reduce
energy costs or generate their own “green” power or are looking for
new ways to increase the viability of the farm or business.

The Rural Energy for America Program offers grants, guaranteed
loans and combination grant/guaranteed loans to help agricultural
producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable
energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements in rural areas.

The
Value-Added Producer Grant Program provides matching grant funds to
agricultural producers for planning activities and working capital
expenses for developing a value-added agricultural product project. 

Recent
recipients were awarded funding for wind turbines; ethanol and
biodiesel refining facilities; biomass fuel production facilities and
heating equipment; geothermal energy systems; manure processing
facilities and anaerobic digesters; solar PV, solar thermal,
solar-powered irrigation and pumping stations and other solar
equipment; energy efficient grain drying bins; energy efficient
equipment and improvements in warehouses, office facilities and
restaurants, hotels or manufacturing facilities; and feasibility
studies, business plans, marketing plans for renewable energy projects.  

Check-in
will be held during the first half hour of each event and coffee and
refreshments will be provided. Workshops are free, however
preregistration is requested. For more information, call Tricia Cook at
the Western Mountains Alliance, 778-3885 or e-mail
[email protected]

In the case of inclement weather, call the Western Mountains Alliance for cancellation information.


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