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Vilsack visits Minnesota to highlight REAP successes

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Minnesota this week to highlight USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.

Governor Tim Walz accompanied Vilsack during a stop to a farm near St. Charles in the southeastern part of the state and tells Brownfield REAP is creating value-added opportunities.

“We were at a farm that put up a wind turbine, and they talked about REAP helping them on the front end and how they got a return on the investment and started to see a profit after two years.”

He says Minnesota leads the country in REAP grant recipients.

“We just really push it, so I’m really excited about what’s happening there.”

Walz says he and Vilsack discussed other forms of energy, and share concerns about solar farms taking productive farmland out of production.

“A lot of that is urban spread in a lot of cases, but I think some of the technologies coming around solar to lift those (panels) up to a height where you can put cattle and things underneath them. You can use it that way.”

Vilsack says because of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, producers and rural communities have more opportunities to participate in the clean energy economy than ever before.

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