Gem State Roundup

U.S. Department of Agriculture awards grants to nine rural Idaho businesses for clean energy

By: - August 31, 2023 4:15 am
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack talks trade at a Woodward, Iowa, farm on Aug. 18, 2022. (Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding nearly $142,000 in grants and $25 million in loans to nine rural Idaho businesses to make clean energy investments and improvements, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

The investments are funded through the Rural Energy for America Program and the Inflation Reduction Act, a law signed by President Joe Biden in 2022 to provide billions of dollars in grants and loans for clean energy and climate action. 

In the press release, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department is aiming to create opportunities for farmers, ranchers and small rural businesses interested in clean energy. 

“A key pillar of Bidenomics, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is ensuring our producers and business owners are not only a part of the clean energy economy but are directly benefiting from it,” Vilsack said in the press release. “These once-in-a-generation investments in renewable energy, like wind and solar, and energy efficient technologies create new markets and deliver real cost savings for our small and mid-sized agricultural operations and Main Street businesses, building and keeping wealth in rural America.”

The list of Idaho recipients who will receive funding from the Rural Energy for America Program includes:

  • Animal Medical Center of Emmett
  • David Mark Glass, a family-owned small crop producer in Bingham County
  • Four Sixty Inc., a commercial bakery serving restaurants and grocery stores near Driggs
  • Hanson Garage, the only automobile sales and service dealer in Clearwater County 
  • Hidden Hollow Energy, a company that will convert landfill gas to electricity at the Ada County Landfill in Garden City
  • Kingsbury Lane Farm, a private horse stable based in Blaine County
  • Marsh Valley Cattleman’s Corporation, a company that owns rangeland used to graze cattle in Bannock County
  • Matchwood Brewing Company, a commercial brewery located in Bonner County
  • ElkFlat Farm, a family-owned hay, poultry, pork and beef cattle farm in Canyon County

In total, the USDA is investing $266 million in 1,300 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, according to the press release. 

The department expects to make additional awards in the coming months. For more information about application deadlines and submissions, visit 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.


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Mia Maldonado
Mia Maldonado

Mia Maldonado joined the Idaho Capital Sun after working as a breaking news reporter at the Idaho Statesman covering stories related to crime, education, growth and politics. She previously interned at the Idaho Capital Sun through the Voces Internship of Idaho, an equity-driven program for young Latinos to work in Idaho news. Born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Mia moved to the Treasure Valley for college where she graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international political economy.